Ryan Giggs confident Gareth Bale will put Real Madrid woes behind him with Wales

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Gareth Bale

Ryan Giggs is adamant Gareth Bale will put his Real Madrid troubles behind him when he joins up with the Wales squad next week.

Bale has been targeted by disgruntled Real fans as the club have crashed out of the Copa del Rey and Champions League and been left trailing in La Liga by leaders Barcelona in recent weeks.

Team-mates Marcelo and Thibaut Courtois also complained of Bale failing to interact with the Real dressing room by not speaking Spanish and choosing to go to bed early rather than meet up with the rest of the squad for an evening meal.

The return of Zinedine Zidane as manager may also make the situation more difficult for Bale, as it is understood the two men did not have a great relationship by the time the former France World Cup winner left Real last June.

Bale is currently nursing an ankle injury suffered on Champions League duty, but Giggs is confident that he will have recovered in time to play in Wales’ opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia on March 24.

Wales surpassed Ian Rush to become Wales' top scorer last year.

Wales surpassed Ian Rush to become Wales’ top scorer last year.

“He’s an experienced player. He’s a quality player and a quality person,” Giggs said after naming a 31-man squad for a Wrexham friendly with Trinidad & Tobago on March 20 and the Slovakia game in Cardiff.

“I expect Gareth to turn up and do what he always does, give everyone a lift.

“When he plays for Wales, he gives 100 per cent and more often than not he performs well. I don’t expect anything different because he’s always brilliant around the camp.”

Bale has won four Champions League titles during his six years in Spain and Giggs says the forward has proved he is strong enough to handle any flak that comes his way.

“I played for United and you are open to criticism when you are at a big club,” Giggs said.

“Everyone has had it. The two Ronaldos had it out in Madrid, Gareth has had it.

“You have to put up with that, just like you have to put up with all the adulation when you win leagues and Champions Leagues. It comes with the territory. So you have to take the rough with the smooth.”

Wales have lost Aston Villa defender James Chester and Leicester midfielder Andy King to injury and handed a first call-up to Rotherham midfielder Will Vaulks.

Vaulks, who has played for Tranmere, Workington and Falkirk, was born in Wirral and qualifies for Wales through his mother.

Ryan Giggs

“It’s been an interesting journey for Will,” Giggs said.

“Released by Tranmere, he was in the system in Wales at 15, 16, then went up to Scotland and came back down to England and is now captain of Rotherham. It’s a fantastic story and just proves never give up.”

Giggs confirmed that Ashley Williams will remain Wales captain for the forthcoming European Championship campaign.

The 83-times capped central defender, now 34 and on loan at Stoke from Everton, has worn the Wales armband since 2012.

“He will be the captain as long as he is in the squad,” Giggs said.

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Liverpool goalkeeper heavily criticised after error-strewn display while on loan

Sport360 staff 12/03/2019
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Loris Karius

Loris Karius’ motivation has been questioned after his latest error-strewn performance for Besiktas was heavily criticised by boss Senol Gunes.

The German goalkeeper joined from Liverpool on a two-year loan deal last summer and has struggled ever since his shocking display against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

The 25-year-old was jeered by home supporters after he failed to make a routine stop to Omer Ali Sahiner’s equaliser on Sunday for Konyaspor.

And Gunes admits the goalkeeper is a problem for his team, saying he would prefer to use 35-year-old deputy Tolga Zengin if he were available.

“He was at fault for the goals he conceded,” Gunes said.

“Karius has gone a bit stagnant, something is wrong with his electricity, motivation, enthusiasm for the game.

“It has been like that since the beginning. He does not really feel a part of the team, it’s something we haven’t been able to work out and, of course, I am partly to blame for this.

“Something is wrong, he has also been unlucky. [He] is talented but it hasn’t worked out and we have a problem.

“Let me put it this way, if I still had Tolga available I would play him.”

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Mohamed Salah unveils Adidas Football's latest Exhibit Pack

Sport360 staff 12/03/2019
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Mohamed Salah with the latest Adidas boots.

Adidas Football has launched the latest Exhibit Pack including X18+, NEMEZIZ 18+, COPA 19+ and Predator 19+.  A boot designed to unleash the speed of the game’s most dangerous players. Released as part of the Exhibit pack – alongside Predator, NEMEZIZ and COPA 19 silos.

The X18+ is created to provide stability and support at high speed. A laceless upper locks down the mid-foot and a low-cut CLAW COLLAR construction features a stretch material that secures the foot in place.

The Predator 19+ features a PURECUT LACELESS system to deliver maximum surface control. A FORGED KNIT integrated midfoot structure creates medial and lateral stability while a full length BOOST™ midsole provides energy return with every step.

The new COPA 19+ features a selection of elements designed to maximise fit, touch and movement. The internal construction, featuring foam pads and an ortholite sockliner, provides cushioning and comfort. The SOCKFIT collar is engineered to naturally expand to the shape of the foot to ensure supportive fit while an anatomical upper mimics a barefoot experience.

Designed to enhance the performance of the game’s most agile players, the latest NEMEZIZ colourway includes an AGILITYBANDAGE with TORSIONTAPES technology, providing ultimate lockdown of the foot. A dual-lock collar secures the ankle and allows for explosive change of direction while an AGILITYKNIT 2.0 interlocking yarn structure provides a soft, direct touch and a lightweight feel.

The new Exhibit Pack is available to purchase from in adidas retail stores, adidas.com from 22nd January starting from Dh175 for kids and Dh246 for adults.

For further information visit adidas.com/football or follow @adidasfootball on Instagram or Twitter to join the conversation.

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