5 Greatest Welsh footballers of all time

Gareth Bale is the current talisman for his national side but where does he figure in our top five Wales internationals?

Wales talisman Gareth Bale

Wales might be more of a rugby-obsessed nation than football, but they’ve certainly produced many brilliant players of the beautiful game.

Ryan Giggs

Giggs is widely regarded as one of the greatest Premier League players of all time, with his career spanning over two decades for Manchester United.

He burst onto the scene in the early 90s and wowed onlookers with his blistering pace and close control on the left-wing.

As the years progressed and Giggs’ hamstrings began to feel the strain, he adapted his game and moved into midfield.

An ever-reliable option for Sir Alex Ferguson, the one-year contract extensions kept rolling in until he retired in 2014.

Even though he underachieved for the national team, Giggs won countless trophies at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier Leagues and two Champions Leagues.

Gareth Bale

The current poster boy of the Welsh national team – Bale was viewed by many as the heir to Giggs.

He rose to prominence under Harry Redknapp at Tottenham and the continuation of world-class form sealed him a move to Real Madrid.

Bale’s lightning-quick pace posed danger to any full-back – just ask Maicon who was torn to shreds when Spurs beat Inter Milan in the Champions League in 2010.

He was also been a hero for Wales – currently the top scorer of all time for his country, he fired them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Mark Hughes

Hughes was a terrific all-round centre-forward who was made for a battle with central defenders.

He had two spells At Manchester United and was part of the Red Devils teams which ascended to be the dominant force in the early nineties.

Sandwiched in between were moves to Barcelona and Bayern Munich – Hughes earning a move abroad when very few British players were signed by foreign clubs.

He scored 224 goals in 799 career appearances and was widely acclaimed for his strength and link up play.

Hughes also scored 16 goals in 72 caps for Wales, getting a goal against England on his debut.

John Charles

One for the older generation is John Charles, who was a goalscoring machine for Wales and Leeds United.

Charles was handed his debut for the Whites in 1949 and helped Leeds to promotion in the 1955-56 season.

He continued to score goals at such a rate that Juventus came calling in 1957 and he made the journey to Serie A.

Charles showed no signs of homesickness as he bagged 108 goals in 155 games for the Old Lady.

One of the most successful strikers of his era, the Swansea-born marksman scored 15 in 38 for his country.

Ian Rush

Rush was Liverpool’s goal-getter during a golden era in the 1980s where they won five First Division titles while he was present.

A pure out-and-out goalscorer, Rush scored an incredible 207 goals in seven seasons from 1980 onwards – including an incredible 47 in all competitions in the 1983-84 season.

He, like Charles, went to Juventus but only lasted one season before returning to Anfield.

Rush soon rediscovered his goalscoring touch and remained there until 1996.

He is the second-highest scorer for Wales of all time, only trailing Bale.

Chris is broadcast and written journalist with a wealth of experience, across a number of different sports. As well covering football on the radio, he is a regular online and print contributor on the likes of rugby union, American Football and Formula One.
Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Best Betting Offers