Wales recall unfit Gareth Bale for crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers

Updated: Nov 06, 2019, 12:34 IST | AFP | London

The Welsh - surprise semi-finalists at Euro 2016 - are presently fourth in their group, six points adrift of table-topping Croatia and four shy of second-placed Hungary

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

London: Gareth Bale, who is struggling with a calf problem, has been included by Ryan Giggs in the Wales squad for their must-win final two Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary. The 30-year-old Real Madrid star -- who has not played since scoring for Wales in their 1-1 draw with World Cup finalists Croatia on October 13 -- is nevertheless considered a doubt for both the game in Azerbaijan on November 16 and at home to Hungary on the 19.

The Welsh -- surprise semi-finalists at Euro 2016 -- are presently fourth in their group, six points adrift of table-topping Croatia and four shy of second-placed Hungary. Both Croatia and Hungary have just one game remaining. Bale returned to light training with Real Madrid last week after a visit to London sparked more speculation about his future.

This accelerated on Monday with claims Real Madrid were preparing a £70m illion ($90 million) bid plus Bale to lure England striker Raheem Sterling away from Manchester City. Giggs has also called up Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who could make his first appearance in the qualifiers after recovering from a thigh injury. Another midfielder Joe Allen, like Bale and Ramsey a pivotal figure in the 2016 team, is named in the squad despite being suspended for the trip to Azerbaijan on November 16. The 29-year-old -- presently playing for second tier strugglers Stoke City -- will return for the Hungary game in Cardiff.

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