Gareth Bale to return to international duty as footy legend takes up new role with Wales | The Sun

GARETH BALE will make an international RETURN for Wales in Geneva next month.

The five-time Champions League winner, who captained Wales at their first World Cup in 64 years in Qatar last year, has been added to the Euro 2028 bid team hoping to bring the competition to the Home Nations and Ireland.

Capped 111 times over a 16-year period, Bale is set to become one of the poster boys of the Euro 2028 championships if the bid is successful.

FAW chief executive, Noel Mooney, said: “We’re hoping for a successful bid and Gareth Bale is very much part of the FAW and what we do. 

“When we asked him to get involved the answer was instant – how can I help you get the bid over the line. Gareth is globally famous and that's why he has been identified by the FAW as one of the faces of the bid presentation.

“You can get into a taxi in Sydney or Peru and if you mention you are from Wales they will say ‘Gareth Bale’. It is an instant reaction.



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“When I go home to the west of Ireland the first thing people say to me is how is Gareth Bale. Gareth is so good for us.”

The Home Nations and Ireland have put together a joint bid to bring the Euro 2028 tournament to the two islands and the FAW are hoping to stage six games at Principality Stadium.

The same venue hosted seven FA Cups finals at the start of the Millennium, Olympic football in 2012 and the 2017 Championship League final between Real Madrid and Juventus.

“We can do a lot more around a competition with multiple matches than with a one-off Champions League final style game,” added Mooney.

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“Hopefully, the 2028 join bid will be successful and we can have six games played in Wales. We hear things about the Turkey bid, but nobody has told us they have stood down.

“We’ve spent a lot of time as five national bodies on our bid and we are all trying to do the right thing every day to bring it to the two islands.

“What the 2016 Euros did for France as a brand, and 2024 will do for Germany, was fantastic. The Covid hit Euros weren’t the same and the World Cup in Qatar was a different experience.”

Uefa will decide on how many of the bidding nations get an automatic place in the tournament, and Mooney admits work will have to be done on upgrading what will be called the ‘National Stadium of Wales’.

“We’re lucky in that we have a fantastic stadium to offer in a magnificent city. Cardiff hosted a very successful Champions League final in 2017 and Uefa were very happy with it,” he said.

“But we feel we can get more out of hosting a series of games than from a stand-alone match. There were tens of thousands of Spanish and Italian fans in Cardiff for the game against Real Madrid and Juventus, and they all had a great time, but they were gone the next day.

“Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government are backing the bid and are happy with the projected return on investment. Millions of pounds will need to be spent on Principality Stadium to get it up to scratch.

“It needs better floodlights and a scoreboard. There are also details to be discussed over hospitality numbers and the TV compound, but these are all things that will be resolved.”

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