Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has revealed that he turned down the chance to play for England as a kid, stating that it was “never an option”.
Having helped Wales qualify for the 2016 Euro – their first major tournament since 1958 World Cup – Bale has stated that he had a chance to chose to play for England as a kid but didn’t need more than a moment to turn it down.
Bale to turn down chance to play for England
The Real Madrid star told The Mirror that he was once in contention to play for England, with his grandmother being English. However, he quickly declined.
He said: “I was really young at the time and my agent was involved, but it was literally a one-second conversation.
“I just said, ‘Stop — it’s never going to happen.’
“I’m from Wales and I love Wales. Everyone knows how much I love playing for Wales. My grandmother is English, but I’m Welsh and that’s it.
“It was never an option.”
Bale hails Wales team-spirit
The Welsh international has hailed the spirit prevalent in the national squad right now, while expressing his pride in wearing the Welsh jersey.
“Playing for your country should be the best part of being a footballer for every player. Every time I pull on a Wales top, I run myself into the ground.”
“Do we show more passion than some other nations? Yes, I think we do. I know for a fact that all our players, even the ones who are injured, send texts saying ‘Wish I was there, wish I was there.’
“Many of these boys have been together for the last eight or nine years and we know each other like brothers. We fight for each other and to have that team spirit is really special.”
Real Madrid fans have been quite vocal in their jeering of the Welsh international, while always cheering the Portuguese, which will make it interesting to see how fans in France react if Ronaldo’s Portugal are indeed drawn with Gareth Bale’s Wales.