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Real Madrid need to build around Gareth Bale

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Not since Wales' John Charles have the Dragons had someone who's been a sensation abroad and had a run at the acclaimed FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Charles finished in third place in 1959 but just claiming the appreciation in a foreign land was a sublime achievement in itself, especially in the days when leagues were pretty much made up of their countrymen.

But now Wales have someone who can surpass that, a man who's carried his country to a Euro 2016 berth, a man who's picked up his second Champions League trophy in three years, a man who also ran the second of those ties, that man is Gareth Bale.

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Currently he's a superstar in the game, but like all-time greats, the game will remember his exploits for far longer than his career spans.

How different his career could have been. In the run-up to the 2010 January transfer window the Tottenham Hotspur man was being linked with a number of clubs - most notably a link-up with Billy Davies at Championship side Nottingham Forest being the most likely - but Spurs coach at the time, Clive Allen, said it was the Welshman's desire to stay and 'fight' for his place which were the reasons for that move to fold.

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Later that season and his potential was starting to come to fruition - winners against rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, with a man-of-the-match performance against the latter, showed he was finally on the right track. More importantly, though, they were big games and Bale has proven many a time since that he's got the ability and mental strength to perform when it matters most.

Ironically it was another performance at the San Siro - a hat-trick for Tottenham against Inter Milan in October 2010 - that put him firmly in the sights of football fans across the world. Even in defeat, he was looked upon as if he'd won the game.

In the return group stage game, he won man-of-the-match in a 3-1 win. The game is memorable for the Welshman absolutely destroying the Brazilian right-back, Maicon. He's scored and been pivotal in games against Manchester United, City, Arsenal, Liverpool and was Tottenham's main man in his last season there.

Wales Training and Press Conference

His efforts in the Welsh national side's successful qualifying campaign are nothing short of sensational. He's won the most points for his side (11) - having been directly involved in nine of Wales' 17 goals en route to France.

Notable winners against Belgium, Cyprus and the crucial brace away at Andorra in the first of their campaign have displayed that he's more than capable of carrying a nation, not just a club side. Bale will be compared to Ryan Giggs due to their careers overlapping but while Giggs' ability was that of a top player, Bale's will far surpass that when the curtain comes down and people debate their respective careers.

There's talk of Real Madrid building the team around the man from Cardiff. If they want someone to carry them, when needed, and become the talisman for years to come, then they need to nominate Gareth Bale.

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
La Liga
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo

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