London (AFP) – Gareth Bale believes Wales have it in them to cause an upset at the forthcoming European Championship in France by topping a group that also includes England.
The main aim for Wales, appearing in their first major tournament finals since the 1958 World Cup, will be to get out of a group that also includes Slovakia and Russia and into the knockout stage.
But Real Madrid star Bale, set to feature in Wales’ final warm-up match against Sweden in Stockholm on Sunday, wants the team to aim higher.
“We’re not going there just to make up the numbers,” Bale told a BBC Wales documentary entitled, “Gareth Bale: Euro Star.”
“We want to win every game that we play, we want to win the group and give ourselves the best chance.
“No matter who we play we feel confident in our abilities we can win.
“We’ll go out there and try and do that.”
Bale has not played for Wales since they capped their Euro 2016 qualification campaign with a 2-0 victory over Andorra in October.
The 26-year-old Cardiff-born forward missed friendlies against the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Ukraine through injury – all matches which Wales failed to win in his absence.
But he stayed in touch with a squad where several of the players have known each other since their time together in age-group football.
“We all feel like brothers and will literally do anything for each other,” said Bale, who this term won a second Champions League title in three seasons with Spanish giants Real.
“We’ve all been together for such a long time and get on really well,” added Bale ahead of Wales’ Group B opener against Slovakia in Bordeaux on June 11.
“We know each other’s games and we all fight for each other on the pitch.”
Wales are playing just the one friendly ahead of the Euros, whereas England have had games against Turkey, Australia and Portugal in the past two weeks.
But Wales manager Chris Coleman insisted that having a lone warm-up fixture was a deliberate policy given he had also had squad in for a five-day training camp in Portugal ahead of their trip to Stockholm.
“The reason we didn’t have two friendlies like other teams was that we wanted to use part of the time to remind them,” said Coleman.
“Players are coming to us playing different styles at clubs and we don’t play a conventional 4-3-3.
“We play a slightly different way.”
Coleman said Wales were looking to repeat the same arrangement that had served them well ahead of last year’s 1-0 win over Belgium.
“We used the first week as training then on the pitch to re-emphasize things to players,” Coleman recalled.
“We used the week in Portugal to give them that reminder about what we need from them. We want them to know the demands in this formation and the challenge in front of them.”
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