The value of individual brilliance is paramount at Euro 2016 as very few sides look cohesive throughout their ranks. With the exception of Spain, Italy and Croatia the rest have relied heavily on one player dragging them through tight group stage matches. Wales are no different and, in Gareth Bale, have probably the best forward in the competition.
People try to use the ‘one-man team’ tag as some kind of insult but is it, really? Nearly every country in the world would build their team around someone with the quality Bale possesses.
He’s always going to be the best player in Wales’ squad but he’s also light years ahead of everyone else in their group. He made the difference and they’re through as leaders. Big players are there to make a difference and Bale, so far, has done exactly that.
Gareth Bale said that qualification for the knockout stage of Euro 2016 with Wales sits alongside anything he has achieved with Real Madrid and he also described Monday’s emphatic victory over Russia that secured their place in the last 16 as one of the best team performances he has ever been involved in.
“We spoke after the England game that we needed to be better in keeping the ball – and we did that,” Bale said. “Obviously, that created the space that allowed me, Rambo [Ramsey] and the midfielders to get on the ball more and when you do that you get the chance to do what we do best. It was a great team performance, everything was spot-on.”