No-show Bale is set to lose player re­spect

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

GARETH BALE has been told he risks los­ing the re­spect of his team-mates un­less he pulls his boots on again soon.

Bale sits out Wales’ friendly against the Repub­lic of Ire­land in Cardiff due to a foot in­jury he claims has plagued him for most of pre-sea­son.

The most talked about player in world football has been train­ing along­side the Wales squad this week.

But with his world record £100mil­lion move to Real Madrid yet to be rub­ber-stamped, the Tot­ten­ham mid­fielder again won’t risk the “prob­lem” cyn­ics claim is a smoke­screen to en­sure his dream move isn’t scup­pered by a se­ri­ous in­jury.

The Repub­lic’s as­sis­tant man­ager Marco Tardelli warned Bale he’s play­ing a danger­ous game, say­ing: “If he wants the re­spect of the other play­ers he must play.

Sur­prised

“He’s a very good player. At the mo­ment Bale is up there with Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and play­ers of that cal­i­bre.

“I don’t know if he’s worth as much as they’re talk­ing about, but if some­one pays it, then that’s his value.”

The Repub­lic’s Stoke mid­fielder Glenn Whe­lan doesn’t blame Bale for his Cardiff no-show, “I’m not sur­prised he’s not play­ing. He’s got a big­money move lined up,” he said.

“No-one knows if it’s on or off, but if I was Gareth I’d maybe be wary of play­ing be­fore any deal is made.”

The winger isn’t ex­pected to be fit for Sun­day’s Pre­mier League opener against Crys­tal Palace, but he met up with his Wales team-mates on Mon­day.

Top-flight bosses have hit out at the tim­ing of friendlies on the eve of the big kick-off in the English top flight.

The Repub­lic face two key qual­i­fiers in Septem­ber, and skip­per John O’Shea ad­mits it’s a tough bal­anc­ing act for gaffers be­tween club and coun­try.

The Sun­der­land defender said: “It’s tricky given the tim­ing and I’m sure if one day I’m a club man­ager I’ll sym­pa­thise with them.”

IN­JURED: Gareth Bale

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