areth Bale was drawing comparisons to yan Giggs long before he started turning in match winning performances for Wales. Having netted seven time on route to helping his country ualify for their rst major nals since the 19 8 World Cup, it is hard to argue the eal Madrid winger has not become an even greater in uence on his national team than his mentor ever was.
t will be fascinating to see the former ottenham Hot spur game changer perform in the international limelight and in Wales’ second group match, he will come up against plenty of familiar faces in the form of England. Hodgson’s squad is almost certain to be impressively youthful, with the likes of Harry Kane, oss Barkley and Eric Dier all 22 be ing complemented by aheem Sterling 21 , ohn Stones 21 and Dele Alli 20 .
England, with their array of Premier League talents, will enter the match as favourites, but in Bale Wales have the world’s most expensive footballer. It promises to be one of the most anticipated matches of the group stages – and the fact Bale, whose grandmother was born in England, could have repre sented the Three Lions rather than the Welsh Dragons is sure to be mentioned more than once in the build up.