Assist for Bale: Helping Convince Ben Woodburn to Represent Wales Over England

0:38 | Soccer
This Summer's Transfer Window Has Produced Record-Breaking Fees
Tuesday September 5th, 2017

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has revealed he spoke to promising Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn and helped in convincing him to play for Wales at international level instead of England. 

Woodburn burst onto the international stage with a great strike that went on to secure three points for Wales in a tough game against Austria. 

The 17-year-old forward joined Liverpool's youth set up at under-7 level and has since gone on to make five premier league appearances under Jurgen Klopp. 

Born in Nottingham, but with a Welsh grandfather, Woodburn pledged his allegiance to the Welsh national team, and a conversation with Gareth Bale in 2015 could have been a reason behind his decision. 

Bale met Woodburn at a friendly match that saw them sit next to each other due to Bale missing the game due to injury. 

"I had a little chat with him, and obviously,' said Bale. 'I wanted to get him on board because we knew he was a great player. 

"He's a typical winger, likes to take on a player, likes to shoot, likes to cross. We're delighted to have him. He's Welsh anyway, so he's ours."

But the Real Madrid superstar also went on to mention that Woodburn is still learning his game and shouldn't feel any pressure to excel straight away, saying: "I've been in his position before, as a youngster it's a lot to come in. So we don't want to put pressure on shoulders.

"I know he's scored a great goal and done great on his debut, but we want him to feel comfortable. Put the pressure on us – we have the experience to deal with it and we can guide him."

Wales continue their World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday night with an away trip to Moldova. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.