Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale said anger over his treatment and media speculation about his future at the Spanish club had not distracted him from giving his best on the pitch. The 30-year-old forward was involved in a tense stand-off with coach Zinedine Zidane in the off-season, with the Frenchman stating he was keen for Bale to leave, although a reported move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning in July was scrapped.
Bale has since forced his way back into Zidane’s plans and helped Real go to the top of the league — scoring two goals and providing two assists in six matches — but reports continue to link the Welshman with a move away from Santiago Bernabeu.
“You play with a lot of emotion, and anger comes into it, but I’m just trying to play football, enjoy it as much as I can and give my best,” Bale told reporters ahead of Wales’ Euro 2020 qualifier in Slovakia last night. “Whenever I step onto the pitch I give 100% to help the team... I love meeting up with Wales. I haven’t got anything to clear my mind about.”
Mbappe ‘not ready’
after thigh injury,
leaves France squad
Kylian Mbappe has been ruled out of France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey and “needs more time” to recover from a thigh injury, coach Didier Deschamps said. The 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward has not started a game since August.
France, who sit second in Group H, visit third-placed Iceland today before hosting group leaders Turkey on Monday. “He left for the simple reason that he wasn’t ready,” said Deschamps. The France boss added that Mbappe “will need more time” and “wasn’t comfortable”.
Mbappe has been replaced in the squad by Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Alassane Plea, who made his only previous international appearance in a friendly against Uruguay last November. World Cup-winner Mbappe initially returned with substitute appearances against Bordeaux last month and Galatasaray last week, but PSG coach Thomas Tuchel then said he “needed more treatment” before he missed the win over Angers.
From goalkeeper to goaltender, Cech makes ice hockey switch
Petr Cech is making the switch from football to ice hockey after the former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper signed for British fourth-tier outfit Guildford Phoenix. The 37-year-old former Czech international ended his playing career with Arsenal at the end of last season before rejoining Chelsea as a technical and performance adviser in June.
He said he would play for the Phoenix in his spare time. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get match experience,” Cech, who will play as a goaltender, said in a statement.
Cech, who played the sport as a youngster before switching to football, could make his debut for the Surrey-based side on Sunday when they take on Swindon Wildcats 2.
Cech spent 11 years as a player at Chelsea, winning 13 major trophies, including four Premier League titles, the Champions League and Europa League, before moving to London rivals Arsenal in 2015.
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