Real Madrid star Bale to captain Wales for first time

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The winger will don the armband for the first time following 12 years' service to his national team, having made his debut at the age of 16

Gareth Bale is set to captain Wales for the first time in his country's UEFA Nations League clash with Denmark.

The Real Madrid superstar has won 70 caps for Wales, scoring 29 goals, and has emerged as one of the very best players on the planet since his debut in 2006.

Indeed, Bale, then at Southampton, was, at the time, the youngest debutant for his country, wearing the shirt for the first time at the age of 16 years and 315 days. That record was eventually surpassed by Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson.

He has yet to represent his country at a World Cup, with Wales repeatedly failing to qualify, but he was a key member of the side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, scoring in each of their group games, against Slovakia, Slovenia and England.

And with manager Ryan Giggs resting regular captain Ashley Williams against Denmark, Bale has been handed the armband for the very first time.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a sterling start to the season in Spain, scoring in each of Real's three Liga games thus far; a 2-0 win over Getafe and a pair of 4-1 successes over Girona and Leganes.

After Cristiano Ronaldo departure from Santiago Bernabeu to join Juventus, Giggs has tipped his star man to step up in the Portuguese's absence .

"When someone like Cristiano leaves there is always going to be a spotlight on who is going to replace him goal-wise and threat-wise," he said.

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"It's a massive void to fill but Gareth has the experience now of being at the club for a long time.

Bale also scored a stunning long-range goal for his country in their last outing, as they thumped the Republic of Ireland 4-1.

 

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