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Wales v Hungary: Euro 2016 euphoria pushed Wales – Bale


Giggs urges Wales to reach Euro 2020
Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Wales vs Hungary
Location: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Tuesday, November 19 Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Cymru & updates on the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app, plus direct text comments

Gareth Bale said Wales would use the "euphoria" of Euro 2016 and the pain of missing the 2018 World Cup as inspiration in Tuesday's qualification which took all of the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Hungary.

Bale played a key role in the Wales match to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

But the injury kept him absent from the defeat of the Republic of Ireland which ended hopes for 2018 Wales World Cup qualification.

"I think we can use both [the experiences] for our benefit, "said the Real Madrid striker.

"We have gotten a kind of euphoria of qualifying for our first Euro and doing very well in the competition so we really want to do it again.

"We also got the negative out of knowing what it was like to miss qualifying for a tournament like we did with the World Cup.

"Looking back at it [Republic of Ireland match] now I think we can use it as positive.

"We can see how we don't want to feel after the match. We know before this match we can push and push not to feel that way anymore, because that's not the feeling you want in the dressing room after the match."

Bale feels 'right and ready'

Wales' dream remains alive with the victory of Azerbaijan – Aaron Ramsey

Wales's 2-0 win in Baku over the defeat of Azerbaijan and Slovakia 3-1 in Croatia means Wales will qualify automatically for Euro 2020 if they defeat Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday.

If there is a draw, it could open the door for Slovakia to secure a second automatic qualification place behind Croatian group winners if they defeat Azerbaijan.

With little room for error, Wales have been driven by the return of key pair Bale fitness and Aaron Ramsey.

Bale returned from injury a month to play an hour from Saturday's 2-0 win in Azerbaijan.

He was replaced by Juventus midfielder Ramsey – who returned from injury to make his first appearance in a qualifying campaign – when manager Ryan Giggs aimed to manage the workload of the two players after a spell on the sidelines.

Giggs believes both are ready to start against Hungary and, although he is not sure whether they will be able to play the full 90 minutes, Bale has no worries about his own fitness.

"I'm ready. I haven't played in four weeks so it's important to get 60 minutes to my feet and get the match sharpened," he said.

"We talked at the beginning of the week about trying to get 60 minutes and hopefully becoming a partner [of goals] Before I came so it worked, there were no problems, and I was ready to leave on Tuesday. "

Wales beat Belgium in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016

'Qualifications now may be better than 2016'

That promises to be a pivotal moment at Cardiff City Stadium, as Wales try to secure their place in the third major tournament in their history.

Qualifying for Euro 2016 ended the wait of 58 years and Wales followed up on that achievement by reaching the semifinals in France, going beyond their steps to the quarter-finals at the 1958 World Cup.

After missing last year's World Cup with a home defeat to the Republic of Ireland in their final qualification in 2017, Wales now have the chance to qualify for the second successive European Championship.

If they do, it will end an impressive recovery from Giggs's side, whose defeat in Hungary in June left them with just three points from their first three matches in this campaign.

But they are unbeaten ever since and, with Wales generating momentum at the right time, Bale believes the qualification will again rank alongside his proudest career achievements.

"It will be there again," said the Champions League winner four times.

"The experience of qualifying for the Euros is huge and something I've never done before and doing it again might be a little more impressive.

"It will stand in the same position as last time but we can't think about it yet. We have the first important match and we have to focus on that as a team and an army."

Choose your Wales XI to face Hungary

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