Live updates

Bale leaves Wales squad - will miss clash with Republic of Ireland

Bale will miss the clash with Republic of Ireland. Credit: PA

Gareth Bale returned to Real Madrid on Sunday and will miss Wales’ Nations League clash with the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, the Football Association of Wales has announced.

A groin injury has reduced Bale’s playing time for Real in recent weeks and he missed Wales’ 4-1 loss to Spain in Cardiff on Thursday.

FA Wales said on Twitter: “Gareth Bale has returned to his club this afternoon and will not travel to Dublin with the rest of the squad.”

The former Tottenham forward was presented with a Golden Boot prior to kick-off against Spain in honour of his record tally of 30 goals.

Wales boss Ryan Giggs explained Bale’s absence was due to muscle fatigue.

And Giggs suggested after the loss to Spain at the Principality Stadium that Bale would be absent for the trip across the Irish Sea.

“Gareth is struggling for Tuesday,” Giggs said on Thursday.

Advertisement

Bale ruled out of Wales' friendly with Spain

Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales' friendly with Spain in Cardiff on Thursday. Credit: PA

Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales' friendly with Spain in Cardiff on Thursday.

Bale has been troubled by a groin injury in recent weeks, but the Wales medical staff will continue to monitor his fitness and manager Ryan Giggs is hopeful the Real Madrid forward will be fit for the Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

"Gareth has got a little bit of muscle fatigue and he won't be involved against Spain," Giggs said.

"We don't want to take any risks and we are monitoring it every day.

"I would say he is 50-50 at the minute for the Ireland game."

Bale among first Ballon d'Or nominees announced

Gareth Bale has been asked to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo. Credit: PA

Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero and Alisson Becker are among the first nominees announced for this year's Ballon d'Or award.

The honour, now separate from FIFA's own Best player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France Football magazine with the 30 nominees announced in groups of five, in alphabetical order.

Wales star Bale - whose bicycle kick against Liverpool helped clinch the Champions League for Real Madrid - joined Manchester City striker Aguero and Liverpool keeper Alisson in the first batch.

Bale's club-mate Karim Benzema and Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani were the other names in the initial quintet.

Bale: I was angry at being Champions League Final sub

Gareth Bale scored the winning goals in the final. Credit: PA

Gareth Bale revealed he felt "quite angry" to have been left on the Real Madrid bench for last season's Champions League final against Liverpool, before coming on to score a brilliant overhead kick.

Wales forward Bale found himself among the substitutes in Kiev, eventually being called upon by Zinedine Zidane just after the hour and then helped turn the match around with a second-half double.

Within three minutes of his introduction, Bale had converted an acrobatic bicycle kick from Marcelo's floated cross to put Real Madrid ahead and later added a long-range second past Loris Karius to help seal a 3-1 victory.

Looking back on that night in the Ukraine, Bale reflected on the emotions he felt when learning he had not made the starting XI despite his good scoring form in the run-up to the showpiece final.

"Angry. Quite angry, to be honest," Bale told the Daily Mail.

"Obviously, I felt I deserved to start the game. I'd been scoring goals. So yeah, I suppose it was hard to put the anger aside."

Advertisement

Real Madrid's Bale refuses to rule out Bayern Munich move

Gareth Bale has struggled with numerous injuries this season. Credit: PA

Gareth Bale has not ruled out a move to Bayern Munich in the summer, but insists his only concern is to do well for Real Madrid.

Bale's future at the Bernabeu has been the subject of speculation for several months with a return to the Premier League a possibility.

The 28-year-old, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in September 2013 for a then world record transfer fee of £85million, said he was flattered to be linked with the Bundesliga champions.

"You can never rule out anything in football," Bale told the German newspaper Bild.

"Currently, I play football at Real Madrid and I enjoy that.

"Bayern have a fantastic squad and already in the past they have always been one of the most successful clubs in Europe.

"It's an honour for everyone to be linked with this club.

"But as of now I am a Real Madrid player."

Load more updates