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    Tuesday, 5 September 2017

    Gareth Bale admits he played a role in Ben Woodburn choosing Wales over England

    Real Madrid star man Gareth Bale has said he is among reasons why Liverpool Benjamin Woodburn rejected England to join Wales

    At the World Cup qualifiers match Against Austria the Liverpool starlet came in as a substitute and scored a winner to put his welsh side third in the table with three points above their opponent.

    Bale, speaking ahead of Wales' crucial World Cup qualifier away to Moldova on Tuesday night, admitted he had played a part in Woodburn pledging his allegiance to the Dragons.

    Bale said: "I remember meeting him in one game, I think it was against Holland [in November 2015].

    Lfc rumour"He was injured and he was sat in the box next to me as he's with my agency Stellar.

    "I had a little chat with him then, getting [him] on board because obviously we knew he was a great player.

    "We're delighted to have him - and he Welsh anyway, he's ours."

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    "We haven't had to have a word with him," said Bale, who also rejected an approach to join the England set-up.

    "He's a good lad and doesn't need to be looked after in that respect.

    "He knows it was a great goal and knows what he did was amazing for us all.

    "He's just got his head down, he's a quiet lad and got on with it.

    "I know he won't get too carried away. And I'm sure if he does we'll all let him know! He's been great since he came in."

    Bale said he was delighted that the next generation of Welsh players were emerging with Woodburn joined by the likes of Ethan Ampadu, Lee Evans and Tom Lockyer in the current squad.

    "It does make me feel old -- I'm 11 years older than him," Bale said.

    "Mentally I think we all still feel 17 -- me, Joe [Allen], Wayne [Hennessey], Rambo [Aaron Ramsey], all of us.

    "We're still young in our minds, maybe not so much in our bodies. But we have had a laugh with Ben and made him feel welcome. It's been good fun.

    "When we came in it was start of transition period when John Toshack was bringing through lot of younger players to build for the future.

    "But Ben, Ethan and the others are coming in to a steady squad that's done well and with characters to really help him as well.

    "It's a good recipe that hopefully can help us."

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