Wales' forward Gareth Bale gestures as he addresses a press conference of the Welsh national football team in Dinard, western France, on June 9, 2016, ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP / DAMIEN MEYER
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The Group B game against Slovakia will be the first time that a Wales team has appeared at a major tournament since June 19, 1958, in Gothenburg, Sweden, when a 17-year-old Pele settled a World Cup quarterfinal in Brazil's favor and consigned the Welsh to the international wilderness.The Real Madrid forward's return to the starting XI, as a free electron operating behind a lone striker in Coleman's 3-5-1-1 formation, will give his teammates – and Wales's fans – an incalculable lift.While Wales go in search of lost momentum, Slovakia enter the tournament on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run that includes a stunning recent 3-1 win away to world champions Germany.Bale will relish the thought of running at Slovakia's old-school center-backs Martin Skrtel, the captain, and Jan Durica.
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