In moving to Real Madrid, Bale became the most expensive player in history. Whether he can replicate the form he showed at Spurs that won him multiple Player of the Year awards remains to be seen. But the boy from Cardiff can take some inspiration from some (if not all) of these fellow Welshman that went abroad...
The Welsh striker is best known for his playing career at Liverpool in which he struck up one of the most fearsome partnerships in their history with club legend Kevin Keegan. Toshack won three league titles, one European Cup, one FA Cup and two Uefa cups in just under 250 games for the club. Toshack's playing career was limited to football clubs in England and Wales with Cardiff City, Liverpool and Swansea City. However, his managerial career could not have been more diverse. He took charge of Swansea City, Sporting Lisbon, Real Sociedad (three times), Real Madrid (twice), The Welsh National team (twice) Deportivo La Coruna, Besiktas, Saint Etienne, Catania, Real Murcia, Macedonia and currently Khazar Lankaran. Toshack's success has also been varied but an underlying ability is not in doubt; he won the Copa Del Rey with Sociedad, La Liga with Real Madrid, The Spanish Super cup with Deportivo and the Turkish cup with Besiktas.
Rush is seen by many as one of the greatest players and goalscorers to have played for Liverpool and Wales. After seven seasons at Anfield and 207 goals, he attracted a British record fee of £3.2m from Juventus. Rush only managed 13 goals in his maiden season in Turin and moved back to Liverpool for £2.7m the following season. He was famously quoted upon his return to Merseyside as saying that playing for Juventus "was like being in a foreign country" - although he has disputed such claims. Rush was also believed to have requested food parcels from home whilst in Italy, which included delicacies such as baked beans.
Hughes enjoyed a fine spell at Manchester United before being sold to Barcelona in 1986 for £2m. He endured a torrid time in his only year at the Nou Camp and was subsequently loaned out to German side Bayern Munich. Hughes regained some of his form and scored six goals in 18 games for the Germans. At the end of his loan spell, Barcelona sold Hughes back to Manchester United and he became a club legend, staying for a further seven seasons and winning the Premier League twice, FA Cup twice and League Cup once.
Ford made his name playing for clubs from both England and Wales in spells with Aston Villa, Sunderland and Cardiff City in the 40s. Towards the end of his career Ford was banned after being embroiled in a match fixing scandal during his time at Cardiff. As a result, he was forced overseas and moved to PSV Eindhoven in Holland where he scored 21 goals in 53 games over three seasons, a relative success.
Rated by many as the greatest player Wales has ever produced alongside Ryan Giggs, Charles became a Leeds United legend in a nine year spell with the club. In 1957, he moved to Juventus for a British record fee. He enjoyed an extremely good first season at the club in which he became Serie A's top goal scorer. Charles moved back to Leeds after five seasons in Turin in which he scored 93 goals in 155 matches and won the Scudetto three times. He has since been voted as the greatest foreign player to play for Juventus in their history by the fans, ahead of such players as Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini.
Coleman enjoyed a varied career in which he played for Manchester City, Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham. He retired from football and stayed on as a part of the backroom staff at the London club, eventually becoming Fulham manager in 2003. Coleman kept Fulham in the Premier league over the next four seasons but was eventually fired in 2007. He was recommended to Spanish outfit Real Sociedad by their former manager and fellow Welshman John Toshack. However, Coleman never fully settled at the club and resigned after one year. At one point in the season, The Welshman found himself in hot water after failing to turn up to a pre-match press conference. The Sociedad manager cited a faulty dishwasher as the reason but quickly revoked such claims and informed the press he had been at a nightclub until the early hours. Coleman returned to English football with Coventry City but lasted just two seasons at the club and was sacked after leading the side to their lowest league standing in 45 years. Following the poor stint, Coleman again relocated overseas to Greek side Larissa. He enjoyed an excellent spell winning 14 games, drawing 4 and losing 2 in 20 matches. However, the success was short lived as Coleman once again resigned citing financial difficulties as the club had failed to pay him for over three months. Coleman was appointed the manager of Wales following the death of Gary Speed.
Earnshaw has played for numerous clubs across England, Scotland, Wales and more recently in Israel and Canada. He has enjoyed a varied career in which his best spell involved a six year stint at Welsh side Cardiff where he scored 86 goals in 186 games. Following moves to West Brom, Norwich City, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and a return to Cardiff Earnshaw was loaned to Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv but after an unsuccessful spell was sent back to Cardiff City. Earnshaw has since taken a permanent move to Toronto FC who play in the MLS division under new manager Ryan Nelsen. Earnshaw has so far scored six goals in seventeen appearances for the club.