Bale confident of Wales triumph over Belgium in today’s quarter-final

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

The world’s most expensive player believes that Wales are the Belgians’ ‘bogey team ’If Wales are knocked out by Belgium this evening, they will go home as heroes, but Gareth Bale has no intention of doing that. This is the biggest game in Welsh football since 1958, and Bale has cleared his schedule until the final at the Stade de France on Sunday 10 July.

Belgium might be favourites for the quarter-final in Lille, but Bale has total confidence in his team. After one win and one draw against Belgium in qualification, Bale believes that Wales are the Belgians’ “bogey team”, and that they know how to beat Marc Wilmots’ talented but patchy side.

At the start of the campaign to qualify for Euro 2016, in November 2014, Wales went to Brussels and earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw, with Bale leading the line by himself. When the sides met again at the Cardiff City Stadium in June 2015, Bale scored the only goal in a 1-0 win, one of the crucial turning points in Chris Coleman’s four and a half year tenure as Wales manager. That improvement has taken them all the way to a European Championship quarter-final, which is why Bale hopes his team have a psychological edge over their more accomplished opponents.

“We are like their bogey team aren’t we?” Bale said at the Welsh camp in Brittany. “We understand we’ve had good results against them, but they are a top team. Hopefully that edge gets into their heads, you never know. It’s about how well the two teams perform on the night.”

But having beaten Belgiuam on that emotional night in Cardiff just over a year ago, Bale is confident that Wales have Belgium’s number.

“We will definitely draw on those experiences, it gives us more knowledge on them,” Bale said. “We know how to play against them and how they play. We know it will be a different game from the qualifiers and it is a more pressurised situation, but we understand what they are about and how they work. We will hone our game-plan to try and stop them, but help our attack.”
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