Football: BALE HAILS THE G-FORCE; UEFA EURO 2008 Austria-Switzerland Qual Group D: Rep Ireland V Wales at Croke Park, Today, Kick-Off 3pm Giggs Is Free-Kick Boss

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Football: BALE HAILS THE G-FORCE; UEFA EURO 2008 Austria-Switzerland Qual Group D: Rep Ireland V Wales at Croke Park, Today, Kick-Off 3pm Giggs Is Free-Kick Boss


TEENAGER Gareth Bale reckons he is more fazed by Ryan Giggs than by making history at Croke Park after admitting he dare not try to nick freekick duties off his captain.

Bale will take his place in the Wales team today to face Ireland in the first football match played at the stadium in Dublin, with a 70,000 full-house ready to roar their heroes in green to victory.

But that is not a worry for the 17-year-old Southampton full-back who will be trying to help John Toshack's team to the win that would keep alive their Euro 2008 qualifying hopes.

What he fears more would be trying to muscle aside Giggs to deliver dead-balls.

Bale has made a habit of scoring superb free-kicks. He became Wales's youngest goalscorer when he curled one in against Slovakia.

But he said: "It's great just to be playing with Ryan - I always felt he was my favourite player when I was a youngster. I watched him on TV when I was growing up and now to be playing with him - I can't ask for much more really.

"I've worked hard on my freekicks and I stay behind after practice for half-an-hour to get it right, but I don't think I'll be taking them instead of Ryan. You just wouldn't - he is Ryan Giggs after all."

Today's Group D clash will be only the second time the pair have had the chance to link up. Their previous appearance together was for 45 minutes in a friendly against Brazil.

It is a combination Giggs' club boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, would love to have. He is one of many top-flight suitors prepared to make big-money bids to secure the youngster's services. …

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Football: BALE HAILS THE G-FORCE; UEFA EURO 2008 Austria-Switzerland Qual Group D: Rep Ireland V Wales at Croke Park, Today, Kick-Off 3pm Giggs Is Free-Kick Boss
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