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Gareth Bale retires

Discussion in 'International Football' started by Jason, Jan 9, 2023.

  1. King_Kenny

    King_Kenny JUSTICE FOR THE 97!

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    You have to look at eras and when they played, these days countries like Wales get to play an awful lot of games against absolute garbage nations. San Marino, Andorra, etc.... whereas players like Charles or even Ian Rush were always up against sides that were pretty much stronger than them 90% of the time as Wales back in the day were minnows. Its the same with most international strikers these days, they get more chances against garbage nations so modern day international strikers/forwards records always look more impressive....imagine Rushy, Greavsie, even Lineker and co playing Andorra x 2, San Marino x 2, etc each year like modern internationals strikers get to...they'd have been out of reach goal scoring wise.
     
    #21 King_Kenny, Jan 13, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
  2. Jason

    Jason Spurs optimist

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    I take your both of your points on comparing different eras and ultimately any Welsh supporter is in a better place to make a case for him. Charles is well before my time and not someone I've ever seen any footage of.

    That said, I'm ignoring the circumstances of different eras and just looking at the facts. The points I made are the reality (caps, goals, tournaments). Maybe Charles would have played more in Bale's era, maybe he'd have racked up similar numbers but the simple reality is that he hasn't. He played 38 times for Wales (Wikipedia so forgive me if inaccurate), Bale's played more than 100 times for his country and been a big part of why they've been as successful as they have been. It's a sizeable difference between the two's contribution to Wales.

    The "what ifs" are meaningless as we'll never know. Bale has more goals than Charles has caps. Some of those have been really massive goals too that were ultimately the difference between Wales qualifying and not. You're always going to get a "garbage nation" in qualifying but Wales have never been top seeds I don't think so they're also going to face some much bigger nations in the qualifying campaign. Any time they qualify is an achievement really so to have done so 3 times in this era is impressive.

    Wales have always had some good players (Charles, Jones, Rush, Hughes, Speed, Giggs, Ramsey etc) but I can't look beyond the numbers and the achievements Bale has had at international level.

    That World Cup (58) campaign is really interesting to read about too. It's quite a bizarre campaign really.
     
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  3. Riverside

    Riverside Registered User

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    Yes, I wasn't disagreeing with you just really observing that circumstances were a bit different as some context. If you look at Wales' 12 most capped players, 11 played in this millenium.
     
    #23 Riverside, Jan 13, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
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  4. King_Kenny

    King_Kenny JUSTICE FOR THE 97!

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    Much like Riverside says, not taking it away from Bale mate, he has the numbers and the qualifications. Its just when comparing the players. Take Ian Rush, one of Wales absolute superstars, barely ever injured, played internationally for 16 years but clocked up 40 less games than Bale who has (if I remember correctly) had a few injury issues? International players play far more these days. And whilst I agree Wales qualifying for these tournies is excellent, I do feel them qualifying these days is much more doable, first more teams qualify as both WC and EC have increased the number of finalists and secondly they dont seem to be as much a minnow as they were in the past. Wales playing the likes of Italy, Germany, etc these days you give them a chance, back in the 80s, etc you'd be looking at Wales taking a tonking.
     
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  5. Jason

    Jason Spurs optimist

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    Goes both ways though doesn't it? The number of teams that qualify has increased but so have the number of teams that now enter qualifying. When Wales qualified in 1958 you only had 48 teams worldwide that entered qualifying. You now have 55 teams in Europe alone so whilst you get many more teams qualifying in modern times, you also have many more teams competing on the international stage.

    9 European teams from 27 went to the World Cup in 1958. (10 including Wales who didn't technically qualify but snuck in the back door).
    13 European teams from 55 went to the World Cup in Qatar.

    Wales are still very much a minnow in European football. Maybe not as much so as Andorra or Luxembourg or San Marino or whoever but in terms of the standard of their national league, the success of those teams in Europe and the size of those respective countries. Realistically the likes of Czech Republic, Austria and Ukraine should all have qualified at Wales expense in 2022 but this has been an exceptional era for Welsh football and although I don't think Bale is solely responsible for that, he has been a huge player for them. I don't think qualifying is as much a guarantee going forward as it has been recently once the bulk of this group are moved on / retired.

    Obviously things are a little different with England as they've been much more likely to qualify for tournaments but Shilton (125 caps), Moore (108), Charlton (106), Billy Wright (105) and Bryan Robson (90) still make up England's top 10 capped players and some of those played at a time not dissimilar from Charles. Billy Wright the most notable of those as his time would have most overlapped with Charles playing career.

    Not trying to downplay Charles because I don't know enough of his career but Garrincha offered him as a counter-argument to me calling Bale Wales best ever. Given what Bale has achieved with Wales I don't see how it can really be argued.

    The only counter-arguments are "what if's" rather than the actuality. I could just as easily argue the alternative and that Bale would have achieved more in that era that Charles played in. We'll never know what others may have done in other eras so all my opinion is based off is what they actually accomplished in a Wales shirt. Some players turn their back on their country (Giggs regularly went missing for Wales) whereas Bale saved some of his best moments in football for those in a Welsh shirt, Charles is certainly one of their greats but I think it'll be a long time before anyone emulates what Bale has for his country.
     
  6. Riverside

    Riverside Registered User

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    WTF :laugh:

    Charles was voted Juve’s best ever foreign player by their fans. Quite an achievement considering the majority probably never saw him play. Not debating between two Welsh legends, just sharing like.
     
  7. Taffy

    Taffy C'mon you reds.

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    Remember that vote by Juventus fans. Considering Platini played for them that is not a bad accolade to receive.
     
  8. Riverside

    Riverside Registered User

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    At his peak between 2011-2016 Bale scored or assisted 65% of Wales’ goals. Finished a career spanning 111 caps at 57%.

    With Bale in the team Wales won 46% of our games, without him 27%.

    A truly tremendous International career and will be greatly missed.

    Bale's glittering Wales career in numbers - BBC Sport
     
    #28 Riverside, Jan 14, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2023
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  9. Jason

    Jason Spurs optimist

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    For all the jokes about spending so much time golfing, it seems he'll be competing "professionally" on the PGA tour.

    No idea if he's cut out to do it professionally but world number 3 seems to think he's good.

    Rahm stunned by ex-footballer Bale's golf game
     
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  10. Super_horns

    Super_horns WATFORD Till I Die
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    Going to play in some Pro Ams alongside the stars (well the ones who haven’t haven’t joined LIV!)
     

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