Bale is a quiet and inspirational presence who supports the young talents and seasoned professionals in the team
Even when Gareth Bale tried his best to play a straight bat, amid questions over his future and rumours of retirement, he wore that warm and slightly goofy grin. Then came his infectious giggle to acknowledge the storm brewing around him. But when Bale pulls on a Wales shirt, he plays as if nothing else matters, free from the circus that is never far from his door. Which is why he has stressed his sole focus is on helping his country to prosper once more on the biggest stage.
What is it about playing for Wales that seems to put a perpetual smile on his face? “Just the pride to play for your country,” Bale says. “There’s no bigger honour in football for me. The way our fans are, how passionate they are, how much they love their football and how much they support the team, it’s a great feeling to have. When you have that love from the fans to the team it makes you even more proud to play for Wales and gives you an even bigger buzz. It makes players happy, and when players are happy they play better as well.”