Ten Milestone Caps in the Gareth Bale Story
International
12 November 2021

Ten Milestone Caps in the Gareth Bale Story

Cymru captain Gareth Bale is set to become the latest international centurion as his side take on Belarus and Belgium in two crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

To celebrate the achievement, we’ve taken a look through the archives to chose ten defining fixtures in a story that began with Bale’s senior international debut back in May 2006.

During the course of his incredible international career, Bale has eclipsed Ian Rush to become the all-time leading goalscorer in the history of the national team, and on his 98th cap he made history when he became the first Cymru player to score two international hat-tricks.

 

CAP #1

  • Cymru v Trinidad & Tobago
  • 27 May 2006
  • W 2-1

Bale became the youngster-ever Cymru international at the time when he came off the bench in this friendly that was played in Graz, Austria, and setup Robert Earnshaw for his second goal in the process. “I enjoyed every minute,” said the 16-year old after the match. “It's a great feeling to have an assist on my debut. It's been a new experience for me being around all the big players. It feels like a dream come true.”

Gareth Bale Debut TT.jpg

 

CAP #3

  • Cymru v Slovakia
  • 7 October 2006
  • L 1-5

Despite the heavy defeat, this match marked Bale’s first international goal as he converted a trademark free-kick in this EURO 2008 qualifier. Bale pulled a goal back for John Toshack’s side after 37 minutes, but it proved to be of little consolation at the final whistle, even if it would prove to be the first in his current tally of 36 goals for his country.

Bale goal Slovakia 2.png

 

CAP #33

  • Cymru v Norway
  • 12 November 2011
  • W 4-1

An impressive victory that began in the 11th minute when Bale opened the scoring before Craig Bellamy doubled the advantage shortly after. Two goals from substitute Sam Vokes completed the convincing win late in the match, but the fixture would prove to be significant as it was Gary Speed’s final match before he sadly passed away just a few weeks later.

111112-089-Wales_Norway.jpg

 

CAP #37

  • Cymru v Scotland
  • 12 October 2012
  • W 2-1

The first victory of the Chris Coleman era came courtesy of two late goals from Bale, with the pouring rain at the Cardiff City Stadium matched only by the outpouring of emotion as his equalising 80th penalty was followed by a superb individual goal in the final moments to seal the win in this memorable World Cup qualifier.

G5GNN7.jpg

 

CAP #45

  • Andorra v Cymru
  • 9 September 2014
  • W 2-1

The opening match of EURO 2016 qualification appeared to be heading in the wrong direction when the home side took the lead from the penalty spot after just 6 minutes. However, Bale levelled for the visitors midway through the opening half, and then sealed the win on 81 minutes with a free-kick to set the tone for what would prove to be a successful campaign.

Bale Andorra.png

 

CAP #49

  • Israel v Cymru
  • 28 March 2015
  • W 3-0

One of the most-memorable performances of the EURO 2016 qualifiers came in Haifa as an opening goal from Aaron Ramsey was followed by a brace from Bale. The duo were the star performers for Cymru on the night in what would prove to be a significant victory in the context of the group table.

Israel FK .png

 

CAP #50

  • Cymru v Belgium
  • 12 June 2015
  • W 1-0

An appearance milestone for Bale produced one of his most famous nights at the Cardiff City Stadium as he scored the only goal in a memorable win over Belgium in the EURO 2016 qualifying campaign. Capitalising on a mistake in the Belgian defence, Bale slotted the ball past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after 25 minutes to send the capacity crowd wild. 

Belgium Goal.png
Belgium Celeb.png

 

CAP #56

  • Cymru v Slovakia
  • 11 June 2016
  • W 2-1

This was Cymru’s first appearance at the finals of a major tournament since 1958, and an incredible atmosphere in Bordeaux set the scene for a significant victory in the opening group match. Bale opened the scoring with a free-kick after 10 minutes, while the winning goal from Hal Robson-Kanu ensured Cymru would make a perfect start to the competition.

160611-229-Wales_Slovakia.jpg

 

CAP #69

  • China v Cymru
  • 22 March 2018
  • W 6-0

A first international hat-trick for Bale would prove to be significant in that it also moved him level, and then above, Ian Rush as the all-time leading goalscorer in the history of the Cymru national team. It was a dominant performance from the visitors in Nanning with a brace from Sam Vokes and a first international goal from Harry Wilson completing the win.

P180322-159-China_Cup_Day_3.jpg

 

CAP #98

  • Belarus v Cymru
  • 5 September 2021
  • W 3-2

Bale opened the scoring for Cymru in Kazan with a penalty inside the opening five minutes, but it was Belarus that took the lead into half-time. Leading by example, the captain levelled from the penalty spot midway through the second half, and then became the first Cymru player to score two hat-tricks for his country when he added his third in injury-time to win the match in dramatic fashion.

2021-09-05 - Belarus v Cymru -61.jpg