Gareth Bale 'better for Wales' than Ryan Giggs - Mark Hughes

Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale
Giggs (left) played alongside Bale during Wales' Euro 2008 qualifying campaign

Former Wales boss Mark Hughes believes Gareth Bale has had more of an impact on the national side than Ryan Giggs.

Manchester United great Giggs scored 12 goals in 64 caps while Real Madrid's Bale, 25, has notched 16 in 49 games.

Stoke City boss Hughes played alongside and managed Giggs, but says: "Arguably Ryan didn't have as much of an impact as Gareth has for whatever reason.

"There was an onus of defensive work which maybe hampered Ryan when he came to play for Wales."

Bale was criticised following his display in Real Madrid's Champions League defeat by Juventus on Tuesday.

He has endured a difficult second season at the Bernabeu since joining from Spurs for world record £85.3m.

But Bale has played a pivotal role in Wales' Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and scored twice in the 3-0 win in Israel in March.

Giggs, now Louis Van Gaal's assistant at Manchester United, made his Wales debut as a 17-year-old against Germany in 1991.

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However, it would be a further nine years before the winger featured for Wales in a friendly international.

Cardiff-born Giggs retired from international duty in 2007, but played alongside a young Bale during Wales' unsuccessful Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

Giggs did not reach a major tournament finals with Wales, most notably losing in the European Championship play-offs against Russia in 2003 during Hughes' reign.

Wales are currently second in their Euro 2016 qualifying group, behind Belgium on goal difference, with Bale their top scorer with four goals.

Former Manchester United striker Hughes, who won 72 caps for Wales, says Bale has been crucial during the current qualifying campaign.

"Ryan was a great player for Wales," Hughes told BBC Wales Sport.

"The amount of games where he had a huge impact for us isn't as high as Gareth seems to be able to impact on games.

"But at the moment Gareth seems to have good players around him that are able to help him and make sure he has the impact that everybody in Wales wants from him."