Welsh veterans set to spearhead Team GB against Uruguay
RYAN GIGGS and Craig Bellamy have set the perfect example for the younger players in the Great British football squad, according to coach Stuart Pearce.
The Welsh duo are 38 and 33 respectively but were highly influential in the draw against Senegal and Sunday’s win over the United Arab Emirates at Wembley, Bellamy scoring against the Africans then combining with Giggs to allow the Manchester United man to bag the opener against the UAE.
The team are in action again tomorrow when they know a draw against Luis Suarez’s Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium will be good enough to progress from Group A and book a quarter-final berth
Former England defender Pearce believes the pair have set the example for the rest of his squad to look up to.
“With those guys it’s the whole package,” he said.
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“They get picked for what they can do ability-wise. That’s the first port of call when I spoke to these two individuals.
“From there, I wouldn’t say we have been pleasantly surprised. That was the expectation. The professionalism of both is incredible.
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“Craig is as good a professional on the training pitch that I’ve worked with or played alongside. Ryan is a similar ilk.
“They are great role models to the younger players. If they are unsure how to conduct themselves as professionals, recovering from matches, stretches, doing the rehab to the nth degree, I tell them to just have a look at these two on a daily basis on and off the pitch.”
While Pearce has been full of praise for the veteran pair, Bellamy knows Team GB could be punished by his Liverpool team-mate Suarez if the team are not on their game.
“Luis is such a good player,” he said.
“The one thing about him is he can create something out of nothing.
“You may think he is going down a dead end and there is no way he can come out of it but he will chop it past someone or put it through someone’s legs and that makes him so dangerous.
“He is a wholehearted player, he will chase balls down and run and I have been fortunate to train with him day in, day out, but also even more fortunate to play with the boy as well. He is a special talent.”
Wednesday’s game could be played under the Millennium Stadium roof.
The roof will be shut for today’s women’s game between Japan and South Africa due to rain in the Welsh capital, and if conditions do not improve it will remain closed.