Could Bale surpass Giggs with Champions League glory?

Bale Real Madrid

Will Champions League victory catapult former Tottenham star Bale to the top of his national tree within the minds of the supporters? Or will Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs still reign supreme?

Gareth Bale has already achieved so much in a relatively short time and is on course to overtake Ryan Giggs’ as the most talented Welsh player in recent memory.

Last season, Bale was awarded both PFA player and young player awards before becoming the football world’s most expensive transfer at £86 million and, only two weeks ago, scoring the winner in the Spanish cup final against club rivals Barcelona.

He has missed out on a La Liga winner’s medal, though, before the season's up, he might have bagged a Champions League winner’s medal - no doubt the crowning achievement of his career so far.

While he prepares for the shimmering spectacle of his fledgling career, let’s have a look at his season for Real Madrid, and see how it compares to the original Welsh wing wizard Ryan Giggs’ season prior to his first Champions League victory.

Comparisons between the two Welshman have been plentiful, with few stats and moments feeling peculiarly reminiscent of moments past.

Bale, though, is carving his own path far surpassing his venerate countryman with personal attributes and achievements more comparable to former Manchester United man Cristiano Ronaldo than present managerial incumbent Ryan Giggs.

I wonder what Ronaldo might say when comparing the two?

Giggs first won the Champions League during the 98-99 season for Manchester United, scoring in the semi-final vs Juventus and setting up Sheringham’s famous injury-time winner in the final.

That same season, Giggs scored a memorable weaving dribble against Arsenal en route to lifting the FA Cup, while also obtaining a league winners medal during that legendary treble winning season.

He chipped in with 10 goals over his 41 season appearances and cemented his place as one of the finest wingers the world had ever seen.

Similarly, the new Welshman on the block has had a tremendous debut season for Real Madrid, a season, coincidentally, that has so far accumulated 41 appearances.

He is on similar course for a treble, although the double is far more likely. As mentioned above, he scored a memorable winner in the cup final, and has hit 20 goals and 19 assists across his 41 season matches.

If Bale goes on to win the Champions League this season he will be the first Welshman since Ryan Giggs to do so, and only the fifth Welshman to have ever played in the premier European Cup competition.

You could argue that Giggs’ achievements over two decades are almost insurmountable and therefore he deserves to reign on as Wales' footballing pharaoh, but with Bale notching up world records and moments of game changing magic, perhaps the prince is no longer in waiting.

Giggs will always be regarded as a legend of the game, one of the Premier League’s all-time greatest players, but if Bale seals what could be his first of many Champions League winners medals, will Bale be considered the greater player, even after such a short time?

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