Gareth Bale insists China Cup with Wales would sit proudly next to Champions League medals

Bale became Wales' all-time top scorer with a hat-trick against China

Phil Blanche
Sunday 25 March 2018 14:34
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Bale is aiming to help Wales win their first trophy for 81 years
Bale is aiming to help Wales win their first trophy for 81 years

Gareth Bale says winning the China Cup with Wales would be a special trophy to add to his impressive collection.

Bale has been a serial winner at club level with Real Madrid, lifting 10 trophies - including three Champions Leagues, LaLiga and two FIFA Club World Cups - since he joined them in 2013.

Wales tasted success by reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016, but it is 81 years since the nation claimed its last outright title by winning the now-defunct British Home Championship in 1937.

"To win any trophy is always good," Bale said ahead of Monday's China Cup final against Uruguay in Nanning. "But for your country it's that bit more special, it's in your heart and your blood and you want to make the whole country proud.

"Whether it's in a tournament like we are now, or in something like a World Cup, it's always important to win trophies.

"It'll be very high up (in his achievements) and we still have a lot of work to come. But we believe if we play well we can win the tournament."

Bale became Wales' record goalscorer with his hat-trick in the 6-0 semi-final victory over China, moving one clear of Ian Rush on 29 goals.

The second-ever meeting between Wales and Uruguay - the two sides fought out a goalless friendly in 1986 - pits Bale in a high-profile match up with his Barcelona LaLiga adversary Luis Suarez.

"We know Uruguay have some great players, it's not just Suarez," Bale added. "We know it's going to be a difficult game, but we try not to concentrate too much on our opposition, it's more about concentrating on us and what we can do.

"They have some fantastic players and that they're going to be dangerous. We have to be wary of them, but they also have to worry about us."

Bale starred in the win over China

Wales manager Ryan Giggs is expected to name the team which swept aside China on Thursday.

Bale is set to win his 70th cap and skipper Ashley Williams will join Craig Bellamy on 78 to become the joint fourth most-capped Welshman.

"Even though it was a good performance against China, we will need to play even better to win the China Cup," Giggs said. "That's what we're preparing for. It won't be easy because we're up against a tough, experienced South American team who are very good technically.

"But it's a great challenge for our players to come up against the best in the world."

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