Gareth Bale has said that Wales’ Euro 2016 semi-final against Portugal will be about much more than him and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The players are both members of Real Madrid where they have competed for the spotlight for three seasons, now they will face each other in Lyon on Wednesday. Not only will they both be hoping to ensure that their respective team reaches the finals, but they are both competing for the Euro 2016 golden boot.
Nonetheless, Bale insists that the match will come down to which team is better. He said, “It’s not about two players. We know and everybody knows that it’s about two nations in the semi-final – 11 men against 11.”
Bale went on to describe Ronaldo as a “fantastic player” but said that the team isn’t worrying about the opposition; instead they will “just do what we do”. Furthermore, he believes that as a team they are capable of shutting out a number of threats.
In stark contrast to a relaxed Bale, Ronaldo seems to be far tenser about the tournament and at one point threw a TV reporter’s microphone into a lake.
When asked about the incident Bale said that he is sure that Ronaldo “had his reason” but said that he couldn’t possibly speculate on what they might be.
Bale said that at Madrid the two get on very well and enjoy playing with each other but that what Ronaldo does off the pitch is none of his business.
Wales will be without Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies due to suspensions but Bale says that this has given the team more motivation to reach the final.
If Wales wins the upcoming match then they will move into the top six of the FIFA rankings, above Spain, Italy, Brazil and England.