Gareth Bale says his Real Madrid teammates joked about Wales' Euro 2016 chances


Having reached the European Championship semi-finals, Wales have progressed further than many of his Real Madrid teammates' countries have.

Three of them are still in the competition, however. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe stand in the way of Chris Coleman's team and the final, where they could be facing Toni Kroos' Germany.

"I’ve taken a lot of stick in the last few years," Bale told reporters, AS reports. "So it’s good now to be part of a major tournament and to do great things with the national team. It’s great to be a part of this."

The 26-year-old said that the Dragons' unimpressive international history has resulted in jokes at his expense.

"When they saw that we had lost or we were beyond 100th place in the FIFA rankings, and they used to tell me I would have nine weeks’ holiday instead of two. The usual," Wales' star winger said.

"I remember Kroos joking that we would only play three games. It’d be nice to meet him in the final!

"It's a good laugh. We’ve obviously exceeded peoples’ expectations. We know that and we’re enjoying it."

Wales entered the competition as rank underdogs but have captured the imagination of the football world by progressing to this stage, a journey that included beating Belgium, one of the favourites to win the tournament.