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Can Bale take Wales all the way at Euro 2016?

28th June 2016 Print
Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has been the star of Euro 2016 almost single-handedly guiding Wales through to the quarter-finals.

The Dragons were far from their best against Northern Ireland in their round-of-16 contest in Paris, but the Real Madrid man proved to be the difference.

His low ball across the face of goal forced Gareth McAuley to send the ball into the back of the Irish net, allowing Chris Coleman’s men to progress into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Wales are backed at 20/1 by Betway at the time of writing to go all the way and achieve a remarkable feat by winning the tournament in France.

Bale has been supported by the hard work of his teammates throughout their run to the last eight, beginning against Slovakia.

The 26-year-old got his side off to a strong start with a swerving free kick which beat Matus Kozacik, only for Ondrej Duda to equalise in the second half.

However, the team spirit of Wales shone through as Hal Robson-Kanu bundled his strike into the net nine minutes from time to send the Red shirts in the crowd into raptures.

Coleman’s men were in dreamland just before half time in the ‘Battle of Britain’ against England as Bale struck home set piece for the second time of the tournament, this time getting the better of Joe Hart.

The Three Lions rallied as Jamie Vardy brought them level, while Daniel Sturridge snatched the three points in the dying seconds with a well-worked goal, breaking Welsh hearts.

Despite suffering the disappointment of the last-gasp defeat, the Dragons raised the level of their game to hammer Russia in their final Group B contest.

Bale ran rampant in the final third as Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and the Real Madrid man got on the scoresheet to allow Wales to finish above England at the top of the group.

Their clash against Northern Ireland proved to be low on quality from both teams until Bale’s brilliance unlocked the Green and Whites’ defence to put his side through to the last eight.

So many world-class players have failed to live up to high expectations at major tournaments, including Paul Pogba and Harry Kane in France thus far.

Bale has been outstanding in all four of his side’s matches, delivering quality moments when the Dragons have needed him to deliver, appearing to be at ease with the pressure of the situation.

As Coleman’s men advance into the latter stages of the tournament they will need the 26-year-old to keep getting better as chances in the final third will decline as they found against England.

However, the Dragons have been strong at the back due to the presence of captain Ashley Williams, James Chester and Ben Davies, along with Neil Taylor and Chris Gunter in the wing-back positions.

Should they continue that form and Bale’s maintains his brilliance in the final third, then Wales could have an excellent chance to better their performance from the 1958 World Cup when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

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Gareth Bale