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Football Briefs: 'Bale will get valuable playing time in China'

March 16, 2018 10:49 IST
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Gareth Bale

IMAGE: Wales player Gareth Bale celebrates. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images.

The China Cup offers Wales midfielder Gareth Bale the perfect opportunity to get some minutes under his belt as he tries to put a run of games together in another season blighted by injury, manager Ryan Giggs has said.


Wales face China in Nanning on March 22 while Uruguay meet Czech Republic the following day. Giggs's side play again three days later, either in the final or the third-place playoff.

"All players that go out are preparing for playing both games," Giggs told British media. "There are players for who it is an ideal trip to get games and minutes under their belt - and it is for Gareth."

Bale was a substitute in both of Real Madrid's Champions League last-16 games against Paris St Germain.

The 28-year-old has struggled with injuries in the last two seasons and he has a fight on his hands to win back his starting spot in the Spanish side.

"I was at the first game (against Paris St Germain) where he came on and did well in the last 20-25 minutes, and there's a case with a lot players where they need games," said Giggs, who took over as Wales boss in January.

Man United's McTominay eager to repay Mourinho faith

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has thanked Jose Mourinho for playing him in big matches this season and says the Portuguese manager's trust has played an important part in his development.

The 21-year-old United academy graduate has made eight Premier League appearances since breaking into the first team and earned plaudits for assured displays against Liverpool and Chelsea.

"Obviously, there are numerous different factors that have contributed in terms of my development but the main one is Jose Mourinho," McTominay told the club's website (

"He's had the faith to put me in for important matches and trusted me in big games. So all credit goes to him. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have had chances to play and show people I'm hopefully capable of being a United player in the future."

Mourinho said in January after the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal that the club would still give youngsters their fair share of opportunities.

"There's nothing better for me than being selected in the big games. It's good to be trusted by the manager. I hope to repay him as he's done really well to push me forward," McTominay added.

His performances have not gone unnoticed by Scotland boss Alex McLeish, who picked McTominay for international friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary next week.

United take on Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

North American 2026 World Cup bid picks 23 potential host cities

The New York/New Jersey area, Los Angeles, Toronto and Mexico City are among the 23 candidate host cities for the joint United States, Canada and Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup, bid officials said on Thursday.

The cities were announced on the eve of the submission of the North American bid to world soccer's governing body FIFA and followed the withdrawal of Vancouver and Chicago as potential host cities because of concerns over the unpredictable costs.

Seventeen of the cities are in the United States and three each in Canada and Mexico. Matches will be played in each country if the bid is successful.

"We are confident that the combination of our 23 existing world-class stadiums, 150 existing elite training facilities, and our modern and interconnected transportation network can help FIFA to achieve new records for attendance and revenue, which will allow the entire global football community to improve and grow," John Kristick, executive director of the united bid, said in a statement.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first to feature 48 nations with Canada expected to get 10 of the 80 matches. Mexico will be awarded 10 games while 60 will go to the United States.

Morocco is the only challenger to the joint U.S., Canada and Mexico bid to stage the tournament.

FIFA will vote to decide the winning bid at its congress on June 13.

The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup and Mexico staged the tournament in 1970 and 1986.

The united bid's 23 candidate host cities are:

Canada - Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto

Mexico - Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey

United States - Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington

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