Football is ideally played with two types of combination. One where there is a team comprising eleven equally brilliant players who seems to be absolutely unstoppable while the other is surrounding a hero that elevates the ten others around him to unfathomable heights. Gareth Bale is the latter for Wales.
You may have heard about Welsh wizards like Ryan Giggs, John Charles, Ivor Allchurch or Ian Rush but the numbers don’t lie. Gareth Bale aces the chart of the highest goal-scorers for the Wales international team, with 38 screamers next to his name, ten ahead of the closest contender, Ian Rush who has 28.
Despite being a mere shadow of his former self where he would bomb past oppositions in a heartbeat, drop defenders dead and unleash those Godly thunderbolts, he is still the biggest catalyst for the Wales international team, especially ahead of the imminent quadrennial extravaganza.
With 11 minutes to go on the clock before the breather intervened, Bale was gifted the opportunity to pull the trigger on a free-kick, a moment that would inevitably take you all back to the moment to the one where he smashed home a pearler in March against Austria.
The former Real Madrid winger would take his stride, have a close look at the surroundings, would fathom the possible additional aspects that would reap the maximum rewards and take a deep long breath before the shot was fired. In inclement weather conditions, where the pitch was dank, he would finally meet ball with substantial force and would let a peach fly. Even though from the initial angle it would look as if the ball was slightly off its intended direction even though it had some searing venom at the end of it.
Sensing danger, Andriy Yarmolenko would rise with the intent of thwarting the ball from flying into his own net but would eventually end up slamming it home for the Welsh wizard, sending a dagger through the warring hearts of the Ukrainians.
Bale’s thunderous effort would send Wales hammer and tongs to the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, a feat that didn’t seem the light of the day despite coming close in multiple occasions. They say that you need a hero to show you the path and Bale would take over that role just when it was needed and deliver handsomely.
Maybe it was just one fairy tale that the former Tottenham attacker would pen last night, yet in the ever-meandering course of football, it is nights like these that chronicles the fairytale runs of the dark horses.