Watch: Gareth Bale’s lovely gesture for teenage superfan
It was quite some birthday for Briahnna Munoz when she attended the MLS game between Houston Dynamos and LAFC.
She celebrated her 17th birthday in the best way possible – with a shirt from Gareth Bale.
Briahnna revealed she was reduced to tears by the lovely gesture from her favourite player.
The teenager, a Gareth Bale superfan, who has followed the Welsh superstar’s career for the past decade, revealed how she ended up with the treasured gift – thanks to the kindness of LAFC and their star man.
“For the past 10 years I have been in love with him,” said Briahnna of her fondness for the Welshman. “Every time he has come to the States I’ve made my parents take me to see him play.
“I live in Houston and I convinced my parents to take me to the LAFC match.
“I got to the game early and a LAFC staff member came up to me and gave me a LAFC shirt pin. I told him how I adored Gareth Bale and I came to see him. During halftime he told Gareth about me.”
@GarethBale11 has been my role model since I have been 6 years old. I’ve watched him and admired him for years. And today I was able to receive his jersey. Thank you @GarethBale11 for making my dreams come true🤍 pic.twitter.com/jx1qiak42K
— Briahnna Munoz (@BriahnnaMunoz) September 1, 2022
Sat behind the LAFC bench, she was in the perfect position for the Wales captain to spot her. Then when he was warming up, Briahnna was thrilled at what happened next.
“Gareth waved and smiled at me. After he finished warming up he got ready to come on as a substitute. He pointed at me and gave me his training jersey. I couldn’t believe it. I started sobbing after that!”
For the student, who is a keen footballer inspired by the Welshman, it was the culmination of years of fandom, which also included attending the El Classico, between Real Madrid and Barcelona, when it was played in Miami in 2017, when Briahnna was 12.
She’s now set to head to college where she will be playing for the Oklahoma Christian University team – and deploying some of Bale’s trickery and skills.
“I’m currently a number 10, attacking centre midfield,” she said. “When I was about 11 at the time Gareth was playing with Real Madrid as a left wing. This is when I wanted to be like him.
“The thing that made me want to play like him was his technical ability when it came to 1v1s and his unselfishness.
“Gareth always stood out to me because he was an unselfish player. His ability to share the ball in creative ways and his vision was different than any other player I had watched.
“Also his hair helped a little bit!”
It was some night for the Welshman in a game that LAFC lost 2-1,a although it was not through lack of trying from Bale, a 60th minute substitute, who was denied three times by an incredible defensive display by Houston Dynamos.
That wasn’t the only action however, as Bale also had to contend with the unwelcome attention of a pitch invader who ran on to the field to take a selfie with him.