Gareth Bale doesn’t care that it’s “just” the China Cup, a two-year-old international tournament of little notoriety or consequence, he’s desperate to win a trophy — any trophy — for his native Wales.
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Bale’s so desperate, in fact, that he says beating Uruguay in Monday’s final and lifting the China Cup trophy would trump all of the trophies he’s won at the club level since joining Real Madrid in 2013 — that’s one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey, two Club World Cups and three Champions League titles, including going back-to-back in 2016 and 2017.
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Speaking ahead of Monday’s clash in Nanning, Bale indicated that bringing success to Wales, in the form of a trophy, is perhaps the greatest motivating factor in his career today — quotes from the BBC:
“To win any trophy is always good, but for your country it is that bit more special. It would be massive. You have it in your heart, in your blood, you want to make your whole country proud.
“So whether it’s a tournament like we are in now, or whether it’s a Euros or the World Cup, it’s always important to win trophies.
“It will be very high up in the ranking I suppose but we still have a lot of work to do, a big game to come and as we said before it’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be difficult but we believe if we play well we can win the tournament.
“Yes it would be great to have some more success with Wales and we will try to enjoy it as best we can.”
It’s hardly a World Cup or the European Championship — Wales thrashed China, 6-0, in the “semifinal” on Thursday (Bale scored a hat trick) — but Bale would have a minor leg up on Ryan Giggs, the Dragons’ new manager, in arguments that pit the two Wales legends against one another in a debate of, “Who’s our greatest of all time?”