Wales boss Robert Page wants Michael Sheen at World Cup after ‘fantastic’ speech
By Phil Blanche, PA
Wales manager Robert Page plans to invite Michael Sheen to the World Cup after the Hollywood actor’s “significant” speech on television.
Sheen’s passionate oratory on Sky’s sports panel show A League of Their Own has gone viral on social media, with the two-minute clip having had over 13million views.
Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson posted on Twitter that Sheen’s performance “sounds awesome”, while Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said it had given him “goosebumps”.
Page and his players are keen to meet the Damned United and Frost/Nixon star, saying the presence of the Port Talbot-raised actor in Qatar can help them at the World Cup in November.
“He’s coming to the first (World Cup) game with me,” said Page, speaking after signing a new four-year contract that sees him in charge of Wales for the 2024 European Championship and 2026 World Cup qualifying campaigns.
“It’s fantastic. I well up every time I watch it. I’d been in a meeting in Cardiff and my phone was going mad so I knew something significant had happened.
“When I watched it, wow, (I was) very emotional.
“Personally I want to thank him for doing that. I want to let him know that I appreciate what he’s done there. Because we’re on the map, but he’s taken it to another level for us.
“I’ve already had messages from the players… they want to get him in straightaway, absolutely.”
MICHAEL SHEEN is truly MAGNIFICENT.
Get a LOAD of THIS. pic.twitter.com/zZh5k3jcSs
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) September 9, 2022
Sheen was appearing on the Sky One show alongside Jamie Redknapp, Micah Richards and England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who Wales could come up against in their World Cup group game.
In his speech, Sheen referred to the fixture against England, saying: “Give them some Welsh sugar.”
Page said: “Outstanding, outstanding. Give them some sugar.
“When you’ve got the passion to do that, we’ve got to use it to our benefit, absolutely.”
Page’s new deal was confirmed two months before Wales make only their second appearance at a World Cup, and their first since 1958.
The 48-year-old was appointed interim manager in November 2020 when Ryan Giggs went on leave to contest court charges against him.
Giggs stood down in June, two weeks after Wales had qualified for the World Cup by beating Ukraine in a Cardiff play-off, and Page was appointed permanent manager.
He said: “Ryan gave me the opportunity to step up (from the under-21s) and I’m grateful for that.
“I wouldn’t be sat here having signed a four-year deal without Ryan’s influence, so I want to thank him for that.
“There was a bit of uncertainty throughout the campaign because of the contract (situation). We could have left the World Cup at any time.
“But thankfully that’s done and I’ve got four years that I can plan and look forward to.”
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