Saturday 23 March 2019

Ryan Giggs gives Gareth Bale some advice after latest injury setback

Giggs tried to persuade Bale to join Manchester United in 2013. Getty
Giggs tried to persuade Bale to join Manchester United in 2013. Getty

Jack Austin

Ryan Giggs has advised compatriot Gareth Bale to “make changes” to both his training regime and his playing style after the Real Madrid winger was forced to pull out of Wales’ crucial World Cup qualifier double header.

Wales need four points from their two games against Georgia and Republic of Ireland in order to be certain of second place in the group – although that still doesn’t guarantee a play-off place – and will have to do it without their talisman, who has a calf strain that he picked up playing for Real Madrid.

He is also likely to be out of Real’s back-to-back Champions League games with Tottenham as he begins recovery for what is the 18th separate injury since arriving at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2013.

He has missed nearly half of all games his joining due to injury and Giggs, who played until he was 40 years old, believes he must address this and adapt his preparations for games and find out what his body needs.

“When you look at Bale and the physical specimen he is, he is always going to be putting his body under pressure,” Giggs told Sky Sports. “Especially with the sort of challenges he comes up against from other players.

“With the injuries he has had and at the stage of his career, this is when you need to start addressing it. When you get to your late 20s it hits home that you need to start making changes. Everyone is different and I tried to cover every base with yoga, acupuncture, ice baths, but what might work for some players might not for others.”

The Welshman also encouraged the 28-year-old to “adapt his game” and to avoid relying on his pace so much in order to prevent the frequency of his injuries.

“You also have to adapt your game,” he added. “You can't play in your late 20s like you did when you were 19, but that experience means your brain is quicker and you can be more economical yet more effective. I was definitely more effective in games in my late 20s even if I wasn't as quick.”

Independent News Service

The Left Wing: Why Irish fans shouldn't lose faith and how Joe Schmidt can turn things around for the World Cup

In association with Aldi

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport