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Gareth Bale believes his fitness is 'timed to perfection'

Gareth Bale believes his fitness is 'timed to perfection'
© Reuters
The Real Madrid forward scored 16 goals on loan at Tottenham last season.

Wales captain Gareth Bale feels he is in perfect condition to hit the goal trail at Euro 2020.

Bale joined an elite band of players by scoring in all three group games at Euro 2016 in France five years ago.

Wales went on to reach the semi-finals of the tournament – losing to eventual winners Portugal – and Bale hopes to deliver in the European Championship again, starting with the opening game against Switzerland in Baku on Saturday.

The Real Madrid forward is confident after scoring six goals in the final seven games of his Tottenham loan spell last season.

"I feel good, fit and sharp and ready to go," said Bale, who ended the campaign with 16 goals and had the best goal-to-minute ratio in the Premier League – scoring every 83.9 minutes.

"I scored quite a few goals in the last three or four months of the season and my performances were getting better and better each game.

"I've timed my fitness hopefully to perfection and hopefully I continue that in this tournament.

"It would be nice of course (to score in every group game), goals win you games.

"But it doesn't matter who scores or creates the goals. The objective for the whole team – the whole nation – is that we win games.

"As long as we can get wins, or not losses, and get out of this group we will be very happy."

Bale, Wales' record goalscorer with 33 goals in 92 appearances, has actually gone 11 games without scoring for his country.

Azerbaijan Euro 2020 Soccer
Gareth Bale pictured during a Wales team training session ahead of their opening game in the tournament against Switzerland (Darko Vojinovic/AP)

The 31-year-old's last international goal came in October 2019 against Croatia in a European Championship qualifier which was drawn 1-1.

"Obviously I know I haven't scored for a while," Bale said.

"But I've made maybe six or seven assists in that time, so I'm still contributing in terms of goals.

"I'm not worried. I know where the back of the net is and if the chance arises, I'm able to take it."

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey has won his fitness battle after sitting out Wales' penultimate training session on Thursday.

Interim boss Robert Page confirmed Ramsey had "no issues" after some recent injury problems and was available for selection against the Swiss.

"We are sat here with 26 players fully fit and raring to go and Aaron falls into that category," Page said.

"He's ready. I was fearful of him breaking down in games.

"We had a plan in place when I spoke to him a month ago about how many minutes we needed to achieve with one eye on Switzerland.

Switzerland Training Session and Press Conference
Skipper Granit Xhaka says the Switzerland squad have high expectations at Euro 2020 (Mike Egerton/PA)

"The build-up has gone really well, the medical team have got to take an enormous amount of credit for that."

Switzerland start the game as favourites having won the five games they have played this year.

"I have a good feeling," said skipper Granit Xhaka, the Arsenal midfielder. "We've had a good, long preparation phase and are looking forward to the start.

"We will take it step by step but the expectations are very high from ourselves."

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Gareth Bale in action for Wales in November 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States73717
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia56314
Great BritainGreat Britain45110
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
14Rayo Vallecano00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000

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