Euro 2016: Wales, Northern Ireland Hope To Win Tournament

Gareth Bale and Kyle Lafferty top-scored for their countries in qualifying for Euro 2016
Gareth Bale (left) and Kyle Lafferty top-scored for their countries in qualifying for Euro 2016

WALES and Northern Ireland both have the belief they can win Euro 2016, according to their respective forwards Gareth Bale and Kyle Lafferty.

The two sides meet in the last 16 of the tournament on Saturday (17:00 BST).

Real Madrid’s Bale, 26, and 28-year-old Lafferty, who plays for Norwich, both scored seven goals in qualifying.

Bale said Wales’ “ultimate goal” is to win the Euros, while Lafferty said he believed Northern Ireland “can go all the way” in France.

Chris Coleman’s Wales side qualified for the last 16 as Group B winners – ahead of England – while Michael O’Neill guided Northern Ireland to third place in Group C.

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They are in the opposite side of the draw to England, current world champions Germany, reigning European champions Spain, four-time World Cup winners Italy and hosts France.

“Obviously you come to the tournament for one reason – to win, not to play three games and go home,” said Bale, who is Euro 2016’s joint top-scorer with three goals in the group stage.

“The ultimate goal is we want to try and win the tournament.

“It’s a cliche but we’ll take each one as it comes. Yes, we would love to win it, but all our focus now is on Northern Ireland.”

Lafferty, who is yet to score at the tournament, said: “We honestly believe with our heart and determination that we can beat anyone.

“With the squad we have I honestly am sitting here thinking we can go all the way. If we get a bit of luck we can upset a few teams.

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“Stopping Bale is the big question. He’s a very big part of their team as a player of that calibre is going to be. We’ll look at areas where they are strong and areas that we can exploit.

“It’ll be interesting to see who it wants it most on Saturday. I believe we’ll come out on top.”



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