Bale warned by international boss; told to follow teammate's lead

Bale Real Madrid

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has been told he must turn up when he can for Wales by Chris Coleman.

Wales manager Chris Coleman has warned Real Madrid star Gareth Bale that he must turn up for international friendlies, and follow in the footsteps of his club team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wales face Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side on Wednesday for a pre-World Cup warm up game without Bale, who has pulled out through injury.

Bale scored the crucial goal in the Champions League final for Real Madrid nine days ago, scoring in extra-time to give them a 2-1 lead over rivals Atletico. Real went on to win 4-1, and lifted their 10th European Cup.

Since Bale’s arrival at Madrid last summer, his international attendance has been scattered, with many now questioning if he will turn up for games that are not part of a major tournament qualifying campaign.

Wales will be used to their big stars missing low-key matches, having endured Ryan Giggs’ on-and-off participation down the years.

But manager Chris Coleman has urged Bale not to shy away from international duty, and hinted he should be chasing the 100 cap landmark.

"I hope it doesn't come to the stage where we don't get Gareth for any friendlies,” Coleman told the Press Association.

"Look how many caps Ronaldo has got for Portugal - over 100 - he never misses. If it is good enough for Ronaldo it is good enough for anyone.

"The gauntlet is thrown down to our lads to say 'Who is going to be the one to top 100 caps?'

"You do that by putting yourself up for all the games, not just the nice juicy ones worth three points.”

Coleman will be hoping his words can inspire Bale to play every game for his country, with Wales due to begin their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign this Autumn, where they face their best chance in decades of making a major tournament due to the increased 24-team format.

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