Soccer

Thursday 24 July 2014

Craig Bellamy to rejoin Wales squad as speculation mounts over international retirement

Andrew Gwilym

Published 31/01/2013|12:13

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CRAIG BELLAMY has returned to the Wales squad for their friendly against Austria in Swansea.

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The 33-year-old Cardiff striker has missed the first four matches of the Dragons' World Cup qualifying campaign, but he has been included in Chris Coleman's group for next week's Liberty Stadium encounter.

Bellamy has not played for his country since the 2-0 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina in August of last year, and his absence fuelled speculation he was set to step down from international football after 70 caps and 19 goals.

Coleman had called on the former Liverpool and Manchester City forward to make his intentions clear.

Although Bellamy has resisted his manager's calls on the matter, he has been selected after helping Cardiff forge a healthy lead at the top of the npower Championship table.

West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is another to return to the squad after being beset by knee injury problems since last appearing in the Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica almost a year ago.

Ashley Williams retains the captaincy, having taken over from previous incumbent Aaron Ramsey ahead of the October qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia, while Norwich striker Steve Morison misses out through injury.

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