Gareth Bale claims Wales have more passion than England
When Wales were seeded in the same group as England every neutral fan would have started rubbing their hands together. The two nations have a rivalry and the game will be like a good ole’ English derby.
The Welsh for most of their history have been in England’s shadow, but their current crop of players show signs of promise and encouragement that the sport is on the up in their country. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are no doubt their two biggest players and the former has already fired the first shot even before a ball has been kicked.
Bale seems to be really up for it and knows what it means to play against their near and dear neighbours. “They big themselves up before they've done anything, so we're going to go there and we believe we can beat them.”
“For me it is probably the standout game in the group stages, but there is no pressure on us because they believe they can beat us.I had a chuckle when England came out, I'm not going to lie.”
"It's an amazing game to be involved in and it's like any derby, you never want to lose to the enemy. Yes, even in the recent [rugby] World Cup when we won. I remember those. England don't get that, do they?”
"I think we've got a lot more passion and pride about us than them. We'll definitely show that on the day.” These are strong words and a statement of intent from the Real Madrid speedster. But getting it right on the pitch is the only thing that will count in the end
There is no doubt Wales will put up a fight. The group that they are in is as unpredictable as British weather and Bale and his side should realise they have every chance as the English to get through this group stage.
For the Three Lions and Wayne Rooney, it’s a matter of delivering on the big stage, when on many a previous occasion they have suffered from stage fright. Their young guns failed to fire in the Word Cup as they bowed out prematurely in the group stages.
But the new kids on the block don’t look too shabby. Dele Alli and Hary Kane will get their first taste of a major international tournament after having quite a spectacular season with their clubs. Now it’s a matter of transferring that form for England.
Regardless, the match should be quite a spectacle.