Craig Bellamy: New boss ‘had not realised emotional attachment’ to Wales

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Newly-appointed Wales manager Craig Bellamy says he had not realised the “emotional attachment” he had to his country until taking the job.

Bellamy, 44, was announced as the successor to Rob Page on Tuesday, leaving his role at Burnley to manage his national team.

The former forward won 78 Wales caps during his career, scoring 19 goals, which ranks as seventh best for the international men’s team.

Despite his long international career and spells playing for hometown club Cardiff City, Bellamy said his feelings for Wales have “come back even stronger”.

“I didn’t realise how important it was to me,” said Bellamy. “Maybe it was because I’d been living in England and Belgium.

“I hadn’t forgotten, I’ve always followed Wales, but I hadn’t realised the emotional attachment I had to it.

“I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to do, I’m not here for financial reasons, but for me it was the emotional attachment to it.

“The more I got involved it became clear to me and it was something I wanted to do.

“It hasn’t left me, I thought it had, but it’s come back even stronger.

“This wasn’t about progressing, this was rooted in me and I didn’t know it was there. I thought I’d parked it.”

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