Real Madrid's Gareth Bale could be future Wales captain, says Simon Davies

Phil Blanche 28/08/2018
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Gareth Bale is now the main man at Real Madrid.

Gareth Bale‘s Real Madrid renaissance proves he has the character to be a future captain of Wales, according to his former international colleague Simon Davies.

Bale was seemingly inching towards the exit door at the Bernabeu before scoring twice in Real’s Champions League final victory against Liverpool in May.

Instead, manager Zinedine Zidane and team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid after that triumph and Bale has since played a pivotal part under new boss Julen Lopetegui, scoring in Real’s opening two La Liga wins.

“It’s funny how it’s all worked out for Gareth,” Davies said.

“The middle of last season he was struggling with injury and Ronaldo was always the main man.

“Then he scores those goals in the Champions League final, Ronaldo leaves, and now he’s the main man.

“So he’s probably got what he’s always wanted there and he’s embracing it. As long as he stays fit he’ll go on and have a great season.”

Simon Davies (bottom left) and Gareth Bale (2nd bottom l) line up for Wales ahead of their 2010 World Cup qualifier with Germany in October 2008.

Simon Davies (bottom left) and Gareth Bale (2nd bottom l) line up for Wales ahead of their 2010 World Cup qualifier with Germany in October 2008.

Former Fulham and Tottenham midfielder Davies was in the Wales team the day Bale became his country’s youngest-ever player at the age of 16 years and 315 days in May 2006.

He witnessed Bale’s journey from teenage prospect to world superstar and believes Wales’ record goalscorer will go on to captain his country when veteran defender Ashley Williams leaves the international scene.

“Gareth is definitely a leader,” Davies said at a McDonald’s community day.

“You can just see he loves playing for Wales, and never misses a game if he’s not injured. When Ash decides to call it a day I can’t see anyone taking over other than Gareth.”

Simon Davies believes Wales boss Ryan Giggs could make Gareth Bale the national team captain.

Simon Davies believes Wales boss Ryan Giggs could make Gareth Bale the national team captain.

Wales boss Ryan Giggs names his squad for the inaugural UEFA Nations League qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark on Wednesday.

The Ireland game on September 6 will be Giggs’ first at home after three friendlies in China and the United States since his January appointment.

“Ryan’s got a tough job,” Davies said of his former Wales team-mate.

“They hit the heights at the Euros (reaching the semi-finals in 2016) and it’s a bit of a transition period.

“He’s got to manage it and the country have to be aware of that. There’s more good youngsters coming through and Ryan’s got to bring them in and build again.

“But he always thought about the game a lot when he was playing and he’s definitely got the experience to do it.”

 

Davies was speaking at the McDonald’s & FAW Community football Day in Baglan. These football days are taking place across the UK this summer, giving thousands of children the chance to enjoy the beautiful game. www.mcdonalds.co.uk/communityfootballdays

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Julen Lopetegui praises Los Blancos mentality after win over Girona

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Hello Madridistas!

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.

14:00 – Real Madrid missing ‘best in the world’ Ronaldo, says Marcelo

Cristiano Ronaldo remains a significant loss to Real Madrid, according to his former teammate Marcelo.

The Brazil international told reporters after Los Blancos 4-1 win over Girona that a sizeable void remains following Ronaldo’s switch to Juventus last month.

He said: “[Ronaldo] is the best in the world.

“It’s obvious that you miss playing with him but Bale and Benzema are really good, too.”

8.40: Lopetegui praises Real Madrid’s mentality after Girona win

Julen Lopetegui emphasised the strength of the Real Madrid’s group rather choosing to elevate individuals after his side rallied from a goal down to see off Girona 4-1.

Real came undone at the Montilivi last season, beaten 2-1 despite taking an early lead, but refused to allow a repeat in their second Primera Division outing under the former Spain boss.

Borja Garcia’s fine finish hinted at history repeating itself but the visitors responded with four unanswered goals to take the points.

Two penalties either side of half-time – a nerveless ‘Panenka’ from Sergio Ramos and something more conventional from Karim Benzema – reversed the lead before Gareth Bale’s strike and a second of the game from the French forward.

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Video: Luka Modric and Raphael Varane will be back in action for Real Madrid soon

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Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui says World Cup stars Luka Modric and Raphael Varane are nearing their first appearances of the season for Los Blancos, but insists they will not be rushed back.

The duo played prominent roles for Croatia and France respectively in Russia as both their nations reached the final, and the Madrid boss is keen to take his time introducing them back into the fold domestically.

“They have the handicap of almost 20 more days without rest compared to their teammates, but these players will start games soon enough,” Lopetegui told reporters.

Watch the full video here.

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