Real Salt Lake
New England Revolution
1:00 AM UTC Oct 19, 2018
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Republic of IrelandRepublic of Ireland
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 By PA Sport

Giggs won't take 'stupid' risks with Bale despite commercial pressures

Ryan Giggs insists he will take no risks over the fitness of Gareth Bale, despite the commercial pressures to play the Real Madrid forward at the China Cup.

Bale linked up with the Wales squad in Nanning late on Tuesday afternoon local time after scoring in Real's 6-3 La Liga win over Girona on Sunday night.

The 28-year-old is expected to play some part in Thursday's opener against tournament hosts China -- possibly from the bench -- as Giggs takes charge of Wales for the first time.

Asked if there were financial pressures to play Bale -- sources say that the Football Association of Wales would lose £100,000 of their reported £1 million participation fee if he did not feature in the tournament, Giggs replied: "Yes, of course.

"Any risks, stupid risks, I won't be taking. But it's also my first game and I want to get my best team out there.

"The relationship with all the clubs is important, I've not spoken to [Zinedine] Zidane, but I've spoken to Gareth.

"I've been in contact with him regularly in the last few months and I'm not stupid because it's an important part of the season."

Bale had another flavour of the superstar lifestyle that Giggs was used to in his Manchester United playing days when he arrived in Nanning following an exhausting 16-hour journey from London.

Camera crews and excited fans greeted his arrival to endorse his status, alongside Barcelona's Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, as the tournament's star attraction.

Gareth Bale
Wales talisman Gareth Bale was greeted by a throng of media and fans when he arrived in China on Tuesday.

"It was the same when Becks [David Beckham] came into the United team," Giggs said. "He took the limelight away from me.

"Gareth would have been out here in the Far East plenty of times with Real Madrid.

"At huge teams like United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich the players are used to the adulation they get, especially in this part of the world because footballers are treated like gods."

Giggs will assess how his players have coped individually with jet-lag and the eight-hour time difference before finalising selection for the tournament opener at the 60,000-capacity Guangxi Sports Center.

But he plans to use as many of his 23-man squad as he is allowed to, with a third place or final to come against the Czech Republic or Uruguay on Monday.

"It's all about the players and getting feedback from them about how they feel and the sports science department collecting data on them," Giggs said.

"We are constantly monitoring them to decide whether to give players a half or an hour.

"We are able to use six subs, so I will probably use all of them, because we are also looking ahead to the second game. It's a real juggling act."


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