Gareth Bale has hit back at Roberto Mancini (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has hit back at Italy boss Roberto Mancini after he compared Wales to Stoke City.
The Potters developed a reputation during their stint in the Premier League as an overly-physical side, with a trip to the bet365 Stadium considered one of the toughest tests of the season.
Wales have made an impressive start to the European Championships and they take on Italy this evening knowing that a win would ensure they finish top of their group.
Italy have won both of their fixtures so far, impressing supporters with a new-found style under Mancini.
But the former Manchester City boss controversially likened Italy’s opponents to Stoke in the build-up to today’s game.
‘Stoke was a tricky place to go,’ said Bale.’
Mancini compared Wales to Stoke (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
‘Stoke had a very tough style of play, they were a tough nut to crack.
‘But Wales have players like Allen, Bale and James, skilful, qualify players so it will be a difficult match from a physical perspective.
‘Wales not only have very good technical players, physically they are a very powerful side.’
But Bale appeared to take exception to Mancini’s comments, suggesting Wales are far better than the Potters ever were.
Asked about Mancini’s comments, Bale replied: ‘I didn’t know Stoke were that good.’
Bale was then asked about Wales’ chances of beating Italy and what it would mean for the nation.
“It would be a fantastic result for us if we were to beat Italy,’ said Bale.
‘Obviously we’d win the group and I guess have a slightly easier game going into the next round.
‘For the Welsh fans to come and watch us is something we’d love to do. The aim for us is to win the group and then that game would be at Wembley, which would be great for Wales fans.’
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