Belfast Telegraph

Bale savours 'best achievement' of topping Wales scoring charts

China 0 Wales 6

By Phil Blanche

Gareth Bale felt breaking Wales' goal-scoring record might be his biggest achievement in football.

Bale eclipsed Ian Rush's 28-goal mark for Wales with a hat-trick in the 6-0 China Cup win over the tournament hosts in Nanning.

It was the first treble by a Wales player for 14 years - Robert Earnshaw scoring the last against Scotland in 2004 - and the perfect way to start Ryan Giggs' managerial reign.

"Obviously you don't really have time to think of your achievements when you are drained," said Bale, a three-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid.

"But yes, it is right up there, if it is not the best achievement I have done.

"Anything you do for your country is the pinnacle, it is the biggest honour you can have.

"On a personal note, it's obviously great to break the record and it's thanks to the team, everyone who I've played with and all the managers."

On Wales' winning start under Giggs - which also included a brace from Sam Vokes and a debut goal from birthday boy Harry Wilson - Bale added: "The most important thing for me and for us was to get off to a good start under the new manager and I thought we played very well.

"We did exactly what he (Giggs) asked. There are still things to work on, but we're happy with the way we're going."

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