Gareth Bale: The caretaker's son and former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid star who became Wales' greatest footballer

March 28, 2023

Former Wales football captain Gareth Bale hung up his jersey in January, but on Tuesday night he will return to the Cardiff City Stadium for a special celebration of his time leading his country.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) says there will be an opportunity before the match for fans to "show their appreciation to a Cymru legend".

Aaron Ramsey was named as Bale's successor as captain ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

Nathan Broadhead's late equaliser against Croatia on Saturday keeps Wales' dream of reaching another major championship alive.

Bale, however, is no stranger to major championships, having led his country out in two and been a key player in a third.


Bale, a caretaker's son, attended Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, the same school as Wales rugby star Sam Warburton and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.

He currently has the most appearances of any of his country's players, with 111 outings.

He also holds the record for the highest number of goals for the national team, having netted 41 during a 16-year stint for Wales.

Bale's senior international debut came against Trinidad & Tobago in May 2006, becoming the youngest Cymru player ever at the age of 16 years and 315 days.

World Cup wait ends

Wales' 64-year wait to qualify for a World Cup ended in 2022, with Bale scoring the crucial goals to get there.

He scored both goals in the 2-1 play-off semi-final win over Austria, before his deflected free kick against Ukraine secured Wales a spot in Qatar.

Bale went on to score Wales' only goal in the tournament when he took a penalty against the USA.

His record at UEFA European Championships was also impressive. He scored in all three of the group games at the 2016 tournament where Wales reached the semi-final.

He also led his country out in a major championship for the first time in the 2020 Euros, with Wales dropping out after a 4-0 defeat to Denmark in the round of 16.

Multiple-title holder

Beyond his international achievements, Bale had a successful club career too, winning five UEFA Champions League titles in nine years at Real Madrid.

He ended his club career at Los Angeles FC, where he helped them win the MLS Cup.

Read more:
Gareth Bale announces retirement from football
Bale penalty secures draw in Wales' first World Cup game in 64 years

Dedication to the dragon

After Bale broke Ian Rush's record as the Wales player with the most goals for his country, he said "Anything you do for your country is the pinnacle".

Bale added: "It is the biggest honour you can have".

Rate this item
(0 votes)


103.5 & 105.3FM


Mobile Apps

Smart Speaker