Wales is a very proud footballing nation, after reaching the semi-finals of the Euros in 2016 the fans proved to the world how proud the country is and how passionate they all are. Wales has produced many talented players over the years such as Ryan Giggs, John Toshack and Craig Bellamy to more modern players in Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies. Here, we look at some of the greatest Welsh players of all time in no particular order.
1. Gareth Bale
Wales’ all-time leading goalscorer Gareth Bale started out at Southampton playing left back for the club, over time he’s converted into an attacker and he’s now one of the best in the world. In 2007, Tottenham Hotspur signed Gareth for £13.2m and he grew at the club. He scored 42 goals in 146 games for the club before signing for Real Madrid in 2013 for a world record fee of £90.9m and linked up with the front three of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. He’s been a hugely influential player for the Welsh National team leading the line on many occasions scoring 31 goals in 75 games.
2. Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey is an incredible all-round midfielder, starting out at Cardiff he made only 16 appearances before catching Arsenal manager Wenger’s eye. Arsenal bought Ramsey for £5.7m in 2008 before loaning him out to Nottingham Forest and then Cardiff again. Ramsey became an important part of Arsenal’s midfield in the 2011/12 season as he got a more regular place in the team. After 262 appearances for Arsenal, it was announced that he would play for Juventus in the 2019/20 season after agreeing on a contract with the Bianconeri once his contract runs out.
3. Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs is arguably Wales’ greatest player of all time, he is currently the National team manager after Chris Coleman left the post in 2018. He started out at Manchester City in their youth academy before joining Manchester United’s academy in 1987, he was then promoted to the first team in 1990 and made his Wales debut in 1991 aged 17. In 2014 he announced his retirement from football and stopped playing for Manchester United after 24 years scoring 114 goals in 672 games, as for the National team, he played 64 games scoring 12 goals.
4. Ian Rush
Ian Rush is Wales’ second all-time leading goalscorer with 28 goals in 73 games, he had spells at Liverpool, Juventus and Leeds scoring 256 goals in 602 games across his entire career. In the 1987/88 season, Juventus signed Rush from Liverpool to break the British transfer record for £3.2m. Just one season later, Liverpool resigned the Welshman for £2.7m.
5. Gary Speed
Gary Speed was another incredible Welsh midfield player who scored 104 goals across a 677 game career, not including his 85 Welsh caps which made him the most capped Welsh player at the time. Gary, unfortunately, committed suicide in 2011 aged just 42 years old whilst being the Welsh manager which was an incredibly sad time for everyone involved in the Welsh football setup at the time.