Gareth Bale’s career thus far is characterized by an affluence of wonderful performances, which the 27-year-old possesses the ability to produce, even when not in his imperious best form.
The Real Madrid forward provided a vivid illustration of that as he helped Wales begin their 2018 World Cup Qualifying Campaign with a resounding 4-0 victory over Moldova.
As well as providing an assist for Sam Vokes to give Wales the lead with a header, Bale scored two goals himself, whilst he tormented the Moldovan defence throughout the game by embarking upon a series of direct and purposeful runs.
Leading the Welsh attack
Many of those, as they frequently do, started deep inside the Welsh half, as Bale was once again the fulcrum of his country’s attack, as he has so often been since debuting on the international stage in May 2006.
Then aged just 16 years and 315 days, Bale became the youngest player to ever play for Wales. Whilst that record is still intact, the former Southampton and Tottenham star is also the youngest player ever to score for Y Dreigiau, as at the age of 17 years and 83 days, he opened his international goal – scoring account with a sublime free-kick during a 5-1 Euro 2008 qualification defeat to Slovakia.
Subsequently following his brace against Moldova, Bale has now scored 24 international goals. That means that he is within four goals of Ian Rush’s record of 28, which Bale undoubtedly has the potential to surpass during Wales’ 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign, particularly since manager Chris Coleman assigns him the responsibility of taking free-kicks and penalties.
The ever – reliable and vitally important Bale
In terms of honouring that responsibility, Wales’ talisman invariably does so with the utmost efficiency, with that being the case against Moldova, as he scored his second goal with a clinically despatched penalty kick.
In doing so Bale showed great composure and confidence. Those are two attributes that he exudes whilst playing for his country, which not only positively influence his own performance but also that of his teammates.
Just as Bale is so loyal and supportive of them during games, they construct a solid platform upon which their talisman can showcase his vast array of skills, as he continues to build an excellent international career and strives to play an influential role in helping Wales reach their first World Cup finals since 1958.
Bale vital to Wales’ World Cup Qualification hopes
Ultimately towards achieving that, Wales have taken a very positive maiden step as a result of beating Moldova 4-0, whilst they will continue their qualification campaign next month – October – with an away game against Austria, followed by a home fixture with Georgia.
Whilst representing significant challenges to Wales, Coleman’s side are nevertheless capable of emerging triumphant from both of those games, particularly if during them Bale continues to exert the wonderfully positive influence that he so often and reliably does for his country.
Of vital importance to their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup is Bale, as not only is he capable of providing and scoring goals, but when on the field of play, the prodigiously talented forward inspires and invites his teammates to produce their best form. More often than not they have responded positively to that, as Wales are now firmly established as an excellent international team, within which Bale continues to play an influential role.