Gareth Bale demonstrates why he is an outstanding 0:15
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
Every soccer team has a leader (or more).
And in the case of the Welsh men's senior team, it is Gareth Bale: the manager of a historic achievement for his country and a complete reference for the national team.
The player has been the leader of the senior team for several years, in which he made his debut very young: he was 16 years and 10 months old when he played in a friendly match against Trinidad and Tobago, according to the specialized site Transfermarkt.
In that game, Bale played just 35 minutes, but that was enough to record his first assist.
The final score of the match was 2-1 in favor of the Welsh.
This debut took place in May 2006. A month earlier, Bale had made his debut in the team that saw him born as a star: England's Southampton.
On April 17 of that year, he played his first match with the first team against Millwall, in a match corresponding to the penultimate date of the Championship (English second division).
Former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale to join Los Angeles FC for one year
Since then, Bale – who had been part of Southampton since he was 9 years old – began his meteoric rise.
After 45 games, 5 goals and 12 assists with the club, he caught the attention of Tottenham Hotspur FC of the English Premier League, a club that signed him when he was just 17 years old and where he became known worldwide.
The rest is history at club level: he won everything with Real Madrid, including the Champions League five times, LaLiga three times and the Club World Cup four times.
While success has followed him at the clubs, what has happened to Wales since his debut in 2006?
Here we tell you the numbers of Bale with the selection.
Gareth Bale's achievements with Wales
He is the top scorer for the Welsh senior team, with a total of 39 goals in 106 appearances.
That achievement is even greater considering he is ahead of Welsh football legend Ian Rush (28 goals).
Led by Bale, Wales reached their first semi-final in a senior team tournament after beating Belgium 3-1 in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals. The team lost the semi-final 2-0 to Portugal.
That European Championship was Wales' first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.
Wales failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and only reached the second round of Euro 2020;
however, one of the greatest achievements would come later.
The Welsh team got the ticket to its first World Cup since 1958. In June of this year, Wales won 1-0 against Ukraine and with it won its place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The goal that gave Wales the pass to the World Cup in Qatar was thanks to a rebound, after a free kick that Gareth Bale took.
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