by Callum Ellis
RYAN Giggs is looking forward to a return to the Principality Stadium with his Wales side – their first appearance there in seven years.
A 2-0 defeat against England in a 2012 European Championship qualifier was Wales’ last game at the stadium, then known as the Millennium.
But a large crowd is expected to return next week as Giggs’ men welcome Spain in a glamour friendly.
“The experience I had against Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium was fantastic,” began Giggs.
“But we felt it was a good opportunity to play in a bigger stadium. A lot of players won’t have played at the Principality.
“It’s a fantastic occasion and a stadium where I’ve got so many happy memories.”
Aaron Ramsey’s future with Arsenal remains in doubt after negotiations between the midfielder and the Gunners recently broke down. But Giggs insists his contract issues with the north London club will not affect his international career.
“What I saw last time when Aaron met with us was a fantastic player and a great professional. What happens with his club doesn’t affect him with us.
“He’s a good player so he suits any league. But at the moment he’s at a very good club. He can play anywhere.
“My advice would be to concentrate on his career with Arsenal and when he comes away with us. Whether he stays or goes somewhere else it’s pure speculation at the moment.”
Despite an injury scare, Gareth Bale has been named in the squad for the upcoming games and will go up against some of his fellow Real Madrid team-mates.
“He had a little groin strain, but the scan has come back clear so he expects to be involved on the weekend.
“Every player’s motivation will be high for a number of reasons. You’re playing against a very good team and it’s a chance to test yourself. It’s at the Millennium (Principality) so it’s a different stadium.
“With Gareth playing in Spain there’ll be added motivation for him I’m sure.”
Giggs welcomed the challenge of Spain, who have announced an experienced squad ahead of their trip to the Welsh capital.
“Every player will want to be involved in this game. As a player, you want to face the best. I’ll analyse the lads, what they’re like when they turn up. I’ll take everything into consideration for the Spain game but for the Ireland game as well.”
Wales hosted the Republic of Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium earlier in the campaign, before having to travel to Denmark three days later.
“It’s not easy, the turnaround. Ireland have got two home games so they don’t have to travel like we do. But it’s relatively early in the season. I don’t think Denmark was down to fatigue.
“That’s something you have to deal with. We had it in the first camp, Ireland have it now and then Denmark will have it.”