Watch: Gareth Bale presented with touching gift to mark 100th cap
Gareth Bale has been presented with a touching gift of Welsh slate featuring one of his most memorable statements.
In a ceremony in front of the Wales squad, head of public affairs at the Football Association of Wales, Ian Gwyn Hughes, spoke about how when it came to getting a gift for the Welsh legend they racked their brains to think of what to come up with that was fitting of somebody who has had such a far reaching effect on his country.
Explaining that Wales is famous for slate – especially after the area around Blaenau Ffestiniog recently became the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, he handed a piece of a slate with an inscription on it to manager Robert Page to present to Bale.
The words inscribed on the slate are those famously spoken by Bale at a Wales press conference ahead of the Belgium Euro 2016 quarter-final.
The words perfectly summed up Bale’s attitude to playing for Wales. They read: ‘The dragon on my shirt, that’s all I need’.
“The dragon on my shirt, that’s all I need.” ❤️🏴
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) November 14, 2021
Having become Wales’ youngest ever player in May 2006 when making his debut against Trinidad & Tobago aged 16 years and 315 days, Bale reached the 100 cap milestone against Belarus in a crushing 5-1 World Cup qualifier win.
15 years after that first match he became only the second Welshman after Chris Gunter to reach 100 caps. He is also Wales’ record goalscorer with 36 goals.
The Real Madrid forward had to fight back from a hamstring tear in order to lead his side last night.
“It has been an incredible journey and one that started very young,” said Bale before the match.
“To get 100 caps will personally be an incredible achievement and one you never think about when you start out.
“We have been through the lows when I first joined to grow Welsh football, to try to put it on the right path and inspire the generations coming through.
“I think even now the youngsters have watched us come from a lower-ranked team to a higher-ranked team. It has given them a drive to push to get better as we have been that inspiration through the years.
“We have all bought into it – the fans, the team, the staff – and every manager has bought into the same philosophy that we want to push Welsh football as far as we can. We have done a great job and hopefully there is more to come.”
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