Former Liverpool striker John Toshack believes that Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has overtaken him in terms of reputation with Wales fans.
Toshack has had two spells as both Wales and Real Madrid manager in his career, and represented his country for eleven years as a player.
But the 65-year-old now believes that Bale is now more loved by fans than he was during his time as a player and a coach.
“Cardiff will be for Madrid,” Toshack is reported as saying to Spanish outlet Marca ahead of the UEFA Super Cup final on Tuesday.
“But more because of Gareth than on my account. They love Bale more than they do me.
“And Bale goes into the game in excellent form – but who could doubt him? I never understood that. I already said in the media that, although you had to be patient with him, that Real had done well in signing him.”
Bale will play in his home city of Cardiff tomorrow, as Madrid take on Sevilla in the Super Cup Final in the Welsh capital.
The fixture is a result of their successful Champions League campaign last season, where Bale ended up netting the winner in a tight match against neighbours Atletico Madrid.
His rise from a young player who so nearly didn’t make the cut as a professional footballer to a European Cup winner with Madrid is the stuff of fairy tales, and has ensured he is now a national icon back in Wales.
Bale will be hoping he can use his talents to steer Wales to their first major tournament since 1976, when qualifying for Euro 2016 gets underway next month.