Bale warning: Gareth in ‘perfect condition’ to hit the goal trail for Wales as they start Euro 2020 campaign
Wales captain Gareth Bale feels he is in perfect condition to hit the goal trail at Euro 2020.
Bale joined an elite band of players by scoring in all three group games at Euro 2016 in France five years ago.
Wales went on to reach the semi-finals of the tournament – losing to eventual winners Portugal – and Bale hopes to deliver in the European Championship again, starting with the opening game against Switzerland in Baku on Saturday.
The Real Madrid forward is confident after scoring six goals in the final seven games of his Tottenham loan spell last season.
“I feel good, fit and sharp and ready to go,” said Bale, who ended the campaign with 16 goals and had the best goal-to-minute ratio in the Premier League – scoring every 83.9 minutes.
“I scored quite a few goals in the last three or four months of the season and my performances were getting better and better each game.
“I’ve timed my fitness hopefully to perfection and hopefully I continue that in this tournament.
“It would be nice of course (to score in every group game), goals win you games.
“But it doesn’t matter who scores or creates the goals. The objective for the whole team – the whole nation – is that we win games.
“As long as we can get wins, or not losses, and get out of this group we will be very happy.”
Bale, Wales’ record goalscorer with 33 goals in 92 appearances, has actually gone 11 games without scoring for his country.
The 31-year-old’s last international goal came in October 2019 against Croatia in a European Championship qualifier which was drawn 1-1.
“Obviously I know I haven’t scored for a while,” Bale said.
“But I’ve made maybe six or seven assists in that time, so I’m still contributing in terms of goals.
“I’m not worried. I know where the back of the net is and if the chance arises, I’m able to take it.”
Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey has won his fitness battle after sitting out Wales’ penultimate training session on Thursday.
Interim boss Robert Page confirmed Ramsey had “no issues” after some recent injury problems and was available for selection against the Swiss.
“We are sat here with 26 players fully fit and raring to go and Aaron falls into that category,” Page said.
“He’s ready. I was fearful of him breaking down in games.
“We had a plan in place when I spoke to him a month ago about how many minutes we needed to achieve with one eye on Switzerland.
“The build-up has gone really well, the medical team have got to take an enormous amount of credit for that.”
Switzerland start the game as favourites having won the five games they have played this year.
“I have a good feeling,” said skipper Granit Xhaka, the Arsenal midfielder. “We’ve had a good, long preparation phase and are looking forward to the start.
“We will take it step by step but the expectations are very high from ourselves.”
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