Ryan Giggs believes that Gareth Bale can surpass the likes John Charles, Ian Rush and himself to become Wales’s greatest-ever player.
The Real Madrid superstar helped his country make their best start to a qualifying campaign since 2002 with a 2-1 win over Cyprus on Monday night, following a 2-1 victory in Andorra and a 0-0 draw with Bosnia which has left them top of Group B, one point ahead of Israel.
Now the Manchester United assistant manager believes that his former international teammate is well on track to exceeding the accomplishments of his predecessors, having seen him perform consistently at the highest level for several seasons.
‘He could be the best ever. He can be as good as he wants to be because he's such an amazing talent. He can go all the way,’ he told Wales Online.
‘He's playing at a great club and he's doing it week in week out and he's doing it for Wales as well.
‘You don't want to big him up too much but he's looking like he can handle it all. He's stepping up - he has to deliver at Real Madrid where the expectation is huge and the pressure is on and it's showing in his performances for Wales he can still deliver.
‘It's been a massive learning curve for him over the last season but he's lived up to every expectation and more.
‘Not only that he's a great lad who wants to get better and wants to be the best.’
Bale made his Wales debut as a 16-year-old in May 2006 while still at Southampton, a year before Giggs called time in his international career.
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur winger has since won 47 caps and scored 14 goals – two more than the United legend managed in his 64 appearances, with manager Chris Coleman recently backing him to overtake Rush’s record of 28 to become the nation’s all-time leading-scorer.