Champions League: Wales to watch Gareth Bale in final "behind a cushion"

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale scored as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final
Champions League final: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
Venue: San Siro, Milan Date: 28 May Kick-off: 19:45
Coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary plus follow live text on the BBC Sport website and app

James Collins admits Wales will watch Saturday's Champions League final "behind a cushion" hoping Real Madrid's Welsh star Gareth Bale stays fit.

Bale was Wales' talisman in their Euro 2016 qualifiers and will be key to their hopes when the tournament finals begin in France next month.

But he must first emerge unscathed from Saturday's final with Atletico Madrid.

"I'll be watching from behind a cushion probably, the same as all of Wales," Welsh defender Collins said.

The West Ham centre-back insists Bale is in "good form" as the 26-year-old forward aims to emulate Ryan Giggs and Joey Jones and join an illustrious list of Welshmen to win the European Cup twice.

Real face Madrid rivals Atletico at Milan's San Siro Stadium in a repeat of the 2014 Champions League final.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has been a vital part of Real Madrid's attacking line-up this season

"We're going to watch it as a team but there's a few nervous people," added 32-year-old Collins.

"I spoke to Gaz and he is in good form and looking forward to the game and meeting up."

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey hopes Bale can steer Real to another Champions League victory, two years after he scored to help them to a 4-1 extra-time victory.

"We'll watch it, we'll all be supporting Bale and hopefully he can come back with the medal and fully fit. We're pleased that he's there and hopefully he can finish the job off," Ramsey said.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen added: "Even if one of our team-mates wasn't involved we would be watching but with him playing we'll get together and watch the game.

"We're praying he comes through unscathed but hopefully he can repeat what he did a couple of seasons ago and put in a huge performance in a Champions League final.

"If he's able to help his team go on and get the win then that's going to be a huge boost. The confidence he'll get from that will be huge when he joins up with us."

Premier League winner Andy King has tasted success with Leicester City going into Wales' first major tournament since 1958 and hopes Bale can do likewise.

"Gareth's played a lot of football in his career, it's just going to be another game for him. Obviously it's a massive game and one which we want his team to win," King said.

"We just hope he can get the win and that will bring him here buzzing."

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