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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Craig Bellamy 'should not quit Wales', says Savage

International friendly - Wales v Sweden
Venue: Liberty Stadium Date: Wednesday, 3 March Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and online, score updates on BBC Radio 5 and BBC Sport website. Live on Sky Sports 2 & highlights on S4C at 2240 GMT

Craig Bellamy has scored 17 goals in 58 appearances for Wales
Craig Bellamy has scored 17 goals in 58 appearances for Wales

Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage has urged captain Craig Bellamy not to quit international football.

Wales boss John Toshack has cast doubt over Bellamy's future after refusing to be drawn into whether he would play a part in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

But Savage, who quit after falling out with Toshack in 2005, has urged the Manchester City striker to continue to make himself available for Wales.

"I would say to Craig not to make the same mistake I made," said Savage.

Capped 58 times by his country, Bellamy was named captain in 2007 following the retirement of Ryan Giggs, but he has only led his side out in 10 of the 27 games played since.

The 17-goal striker has suffered with a recurring knee problem though which has caused him to miss games.

Last August, a row broke out when Bellamy failed to report for Wales' friendly against Montenegro after Man City admitted they failed to inform Toshack he was not fit.

But on Monday, Toshack refused to be drawn on whether Bellamy still had a big part to play in his future plans after leaving him out of Wednesday's friendly with Sweden in Swansea.

Toshack cool on Bellamy future

"Well we don't know," said Toshack. "He's played five of the last 12 competitive games and missed the last three friendlies, so that's 10 out of 15 that he's missed.

"For our friendly against Montenegro the player and his manager, at the time, were concerned he may not be able to play in friendly matches for Wales because of a condition that has been well documented."

"They were at pains to say he might have to miss them - so that is what he is doing."

But Savage, who won 39 caps for Wales in a 10-year period, believes retiring form international football is something "Craig will not do".

"I don't know what Craig has said to John about the friendlies but I speak to Craig on a regular occurrence, he's a good friend of mine and I know for a fact he wants to play for Wales as many times as he can," the Derby County midfielder told Tuesday's Radio Wales Sport.

"He reiterated that to me last week that he was looking forward to the future and to playing for Wales as many times as he can.

"It's going to be very interesting to see what happens when the qualifiers come along - I know Craig will be available."

Savage quit Wales in 2005 because he said he did not want to be "humiliated" by being left out of the squad by Toshack for two World Cup qualifiers in 2005.

"I took that opportunity away myself," said Savage, who also played with Bellamy at Blackburn Rovers.

"I was stupid, I should never have done that. I should've made it hard for Tosh to leave me out of the squad.

"Craig would not make the same mistake. He's an exceptional talent and the Welsh public want to see him play."

Wales squad to face Sweden in Swansea on 3 March:
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Boaz Myhill (Hull City)

Defenders: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), James Collins (Aston Villa), Neal Eardley (Blackpool), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), Craig Morgan (Peterborough United), Lewin Nyatanga (Bristol City), Sam Ricketts (Bolton Wanderers), Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

Midfielders: Jack Collison (West Ham United), Andrew Crofts (Brighton & Hove Albion), Simon Davies (Fulham), Andy Dorman (St Mirren), Andy King (Leicester City), David Vaughan (Blackpool)

Strikers: Simon Church (Reading), David Cotterill (Swansea City), Robert Earnshaw (Nottingham Forest), Ched Evans (Sheffield United), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Sweden squad to face Wales:
Eddie Gustafsson (Red Bull Salzburg), Andreas Isaksson (PSV Eindhoven), Andreas Granqvist (Groningen), Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham City), Daniel Majstorovic (AEK), Olof Mellberg (Olympiacos), Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion), Behrang Safari (Basel), Oscar Wendt (FC København), Marcus Berg (Hamburger), Rasmus Elm (AZ Alkmaar), Viktor Elm (Heerenveen), Johan Elmander (Bolton Wanderers), Tobias Hysén (IFK Göteborg), Kim Källström (Olympique Lyonnais), Anders Svensson (IF Elfsborg), Ola Toivonen (PSV Eindhoven), Pontus Wernbloom (AZ Alkmaar), Christian Wilhelmsson (Al-Hilal).

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see also
Wales 0-1 Sweden
03 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Collison's warning to young Wales
02 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Toshack casts doubt over Bellamy
01 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Saunders to turn down Wales call
28 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Ramsey has surgery on broken leg
28 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
Wales in talks to play Brittany
26 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Wales to host Sweden in friendly
12 Jan 10 |  Welsh
Savage launches attack on Toshack
14 Mar 05 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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Daily Express Craig Bellamy: If you want me, you only have to call - 5 hrs ago
The Independent Toshack 'no comment' on Bellamy future - 18 hrs ago Toshack keeping quiet on Bellamy future - 19 hrs ago
TEAMtalk Toshack silent on Bellamy issue - 19 hrs ago Bellamy question dominates Wales defeat - 21 hrs ago