Bale returns for Wales duty

Not even the appearance of Gareth Bale could save Chris Coleman's side as they slumped to the bottom of World Cup qualifying Group A with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Serbia.

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Bale on the bench against Serbia

Wales are fifth in their group. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The world's most expensive player Gareth Bale will not start against Serbia tonight but could come on as substitute if he is fit.

The Real Madrid star remains a doubt for the World Cup qualifier, despite taking a full part in training, hours after a scan on a groin strain.

Chris Coleman also has to decide who to name as Captain with Ashley Williams suspended.

Gareth Bale fit for Wales duty

Wales boss Chris Coleman has confirmed that Gareth Bale is fit and will play a part in Wales' up and coming World Cup qualifying Group A games against Macedonia and Serbia.

Bale was yesterday unveiled to thousands of Real Madrid fans after completing his world record £85 million transfer to the Spanish giants. He arrived at the Wales team hotel late last night just hours after his appearance at the Bernabeu and will train with his Welsh team mates this afternoon.

The Wales squad fly out to Macedonia on Thursday ahead of Friday night's clash in Skopje. Wales then face Serbia in Cardiff on September 10th

Bale dominates newspaper front and back pages

Hitting the headlines: Gareth Bale's £85m transfer has got the paper's talking Credit: Joe Davies/ITV News

Gareth Bale's unveiling as a Real Madrid player yesterday has dominated the front and back pages of today's newspapers.

The Daily Mail - 'Gareth Bale finally became the world's most expensive footballer yesterday when he was unveiled as Real Madrid's £86m new boy - then he did his best to soothe the ego of the man whose title he has taken.

Bale was introduced to nearly 30,000 Real fans at the Bernabeu, and then described his new Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as 'the best player in the world and somebody I am looking forward to learning from.''

The Guardian - 'Tottenham Hotspur's chairman, Daniel Levy, had kept him waiting, forcing Real Madrid to dismantle and then rebuild the stage upon which they planned to present him, but... the Welshman finally appeared at the Berbaneu, dressed in a skinny black suit.'

The Independent - 'In terms of player presentations Ronaldo will have seen how Bale's "opening ceremony" at the Bernabeu drew a smaller crowd than the 80,000 that turned up for his in 2009.

But he will also have noticed how Bale has been accepted instantly by Real supporters, who sang his name as he did a lap of the stadium, kicking footballs into a crowd of around 35,000.'

The Daily Mirror - 'He may have been welcomed by more fans than the crowd for a Europa League game at his old club. But drenched in sunshine, adulation and the kind of fanfare reserved for heads of state, the world's most expensive player kept a clear head here at the Bernabeu.'

South Wales Echo - 'On a monumental day for Welsh sport, Bale chose to share the biggest stage of all with mam Debbie and dad Frank, his grandad, his sister Vicky, nephew and niece, his childhood sweetheart Emma and their daughter Alba Violet.

Immediately ingratiating himself with the Spanish public and media, the 24 year-old gave a short message in his new tongue.'

Western Mail - 'Overjoyed Spanish football fans gave Gareth Bale a rousing reception reception in the Bernabeu Stadium yesterday after the Cardiff-born Galactico told them: "Ola! Me gusta mucho Madrid."

The softly-spoken Welshman 24 years old was flanked by his family as he was finally unveiled on football's biggest stage as Real Madrid's new star after months of anticipation.'


Bale arrives back in Cardiff to join up with Wales squad

Gareth Bale has arrived at the Welsh team hotel in Cardiff and is due to train with the Wales squad later today.

There had been speculation that his new club Real Madrid would ask Wales manager Chris Coleman to leave the 24 year-old out of his squad for the upcoming matches, in Macedonia on September 6 and against Serbia in Cardiff on September 10, so as not to risk their £85m signing getting injured again.

However, speaking at his first press conference as a Real Madrid player yesterday, Bale said: "It's not been ideal but I've been doing my fitness training and I will meet up with Wales."

"I haven't had a lot of match time so that will help my fitness, as well as it being an honour to play for my country.

"It's well known I had a slight injury, which took me a bit of time, but I always wanted to be here in the white shirt of Madrid and hopefully I can get match-time with Wales and come back fit.

"I'm hoping to take it one step at a time and come back in better physical shape. I'm hoping to be involved for the (Real Madrid) game with Villarreal (on September 14)."

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