Euro 2016: Wales not a one-man team, says Gareth Bale

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport in Dinard, France
Euro 2016: Gareth Bale urges Wales to 'do nation proud'
Euro 2016
Host: France Dates: 10 June to 10 July
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC TV, BBC Radio, the BBC Sport website and app. Live text commentary on every game on BBC Sport website.

Gareth Bale has dismissed the notion Wales are a one-man team as he prepares to spearhead their Euro 2016 campaign.

Wales face Slovakia on Saturday in what will be their first match at a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

Although Bale scored seven of Wales' 11 goals in qualifying for Euro 2016, the Real Madrid forward does not feel under more pressure than his team-mates.

"I want to enjoy myself on the football pitch, like you do when you're a kid," he said.

"The Welsh side here now, we're all like brothers. We're friends, we joke around and play together but, when it comes down to serious business, we all fight for each other.

"We have fun at the same time. We want to come here and enjoy it and, when you enjoy your football, you play your best."

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale poses for photographs with French fans at Wales' open training session in Dinard on Wednesday

Bale came on for the final half an hour of Wales' 3-0 friendly defeat in Sweden on Sunday, his first international appearance since October.

Wales manager Chris Coleman opted against starting the 26-year-old after he had appeared to struggle with cramp as he played the full 120 minutes of Real Madrid's Champions League final win against rivals Atletico the previous weekend.

The listless nature of Wales' performance in Sweden before Bale's introduction prompted the likes of former captain Kevin Ratcliffe to raise concerns about the team's over-reliance on the former Tottenham forward.

However, Bale refutes any suggestions he is the only attacking threat in the Welsh side.

"It's never a one-man team. There's 11 men on the pitch for a start," he said.

"For us, it's a squad thing. 'Together Stronger' [Wales' motto] is there for a reason. We don't just say it for no reason.

"We all work hard as one unit. We attack as one, we defend as one. When we lose the ball, we all fight back together.

"People write stories, they can write what they want, but we all know we work very hard on the training pitch every day and, come match-day, we work even harder."

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