Gareth Bale wants international success with Wales to better Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs

Gareth Bale 2

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale wants international success with Wales to complete his career.

Bale already has 48 caps for Wales, despite being just 25-years-old, and he looks set to lead his nation to the 2016 European Championships.

Having won his first cap in 2006, the winger has failed to make the finals of an international tournaments, but he has never prioritised club football over international - as many have suggested Ryan Giggs did.

Manchester United legend Giggs won just 64 caps for his nation across a 16-year international career, and he retired from intentional duty at the age of just 33. Bale is well on course to beat Giggs’ tally, and he could well become Wales most-capped player by the end of his career, should he register more than the 92 currently held by Neville Southall. He is also joint 10th on the Welsh all-time top scorers list - with his tally of 14 goals equal with John Harrison - and he is on course to top that list too - with just 14 more to go to tie with first-placed Ian Rush.

Whilst personal glory appeals to the former Tottenham man, the real success he wants to have with Wales comes as a team achievement - qualification for the Finals tournament of an international competition.

The Welsh have not qualified for a major international tournament since 1976, and Bale told the Telegraph that reaching the Euro 2016 Finals would be on-par with winning the Champions League.

“I think it would be the joint biggest achievement in my career so far,” the Real Madrid man said. “On a par with the Champions League”

“We’d make history in Wales and it would mean so much to the country.

“I love playing for Wales. It’s not a responsibility or a burden.”

Qualification had been a distant hope for Wales for a long time, but, since the arrival of Bale, the mentality has changed to confidence, and the 25-year-old has promised to lead by example in the search for success.

He added: “We have such a good team and we know we can achieve something. Before it was more, “maybe we can do something”, whereas now we know we can.

“I need to be a leader on the pitch now. I might not be the most vocal, but hopefully I can lead by example by running around and working hard.”

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch