The game in which Gareth Bale sampled Champions League glory is set to be his final match of the 2013-14 season after he was pulled out of the Wales squad to play the Netherlands.
The Real Madrid man was withdrawn with a leg injury, meaning that Wales manager Chris Coleman will be left to tackle Louis van Gaal’s Oranje outfit without his two best players as Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey will be rested for the fixture.
BBC Wales Sport tweeted the news that the world’s most expensive player will miss the contest:
The Football Association of Wales confirmed that the 24-year-old has been suffering with “a leg muscle injury for a few weeks now,” per BBC Sport, and it’s little wonder, given the physical exertion Bale has subjected himself to for the Real Madrid cause in the final knockings of a thrilling campaign.
Having notched the winning goal in Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey win against Barcelona back in April, the Welshman scored an extra-time header in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid to all but guarantee Real’s 10th European Cup triumph.
But it seems as though Bale’s season is set to finish in the same way it started—curtailed by injury— meaning Welsh supporters will have to wait a little longer to see their homegrown superstar in action for the national side.
For the Dutch side too, this news will also come as a disappointment, as it means that they will face a considerably easier challenge as part of their World Cup preparations.
Coleman will be frustrated to be without Bale, but after a long campaign, it’s vital the former Tottenham man gets ample time to recover from what will have been an unfamiliarly intense few weeks.
Wales begin their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign on Sept. 9, 2014 against Andorra and they will surely reap the benefits of a well-rested, refocused Bale when the serious stuff kicks off.
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