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Gareth Bale: Ben Woodburn Makes Me Feel Old

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A statement that most of us can relate to.

Wales v Austria - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

I’m not particularly in the mood to share what 17-year-old me was doing with my life, but I can say that I was not scoring big goals for club and country like Ben Woodburn. The Welsh starlet has managed to turn heads far and wide in the last year, no more so than when he slotted the match winner in a World Cup qualifier this weekend.

International teammate Gareth Bale had only positives to say about Woodburn. Other than one thing.

“He does actually [make me feel old], I’m 11 years older than him,” Bale said. “We are all proud of him. Hopefully now he can kick on, keep working hard for the rest of his career.

“Mentally I think we all still feel 17 - me, Joe (Ledley), Wayne (Hennessey), Rambo (Aaron Ramsey), all of us - we’re still young in our minds, maybe not so much in our bodies.

“We have a laugh with him and make him feel welcome. It’s been good fun.”

“We knew he was a great player and we’re delighted to have him. He’s Welsh anyway so he’s ours.”

Wales, currently 3rd in their qualifying group, still has quite a bit of work to do in order to qualify. But with three matches left, including one against 2nd-place Ireland, they could still claw their way into a playoff spot.

Woodburn and Wales travel away to Moldova tonight.