Gareth Bale: Real Madrid winger is future Wales captain, says Simon Davies

By Chris WathanBBC Sport Wales
Gareth Bale for Wales
Gareth Bale is Wales' all-time record goalscorer with 29 goals

Former Wales captain Simon Davies believes Real Madrid's "main man" Gareth Bale is destined to wear his country's armband.

But the ex-Spurs and Everton midfielder insists current skipper Ashley Williams still has plenty to offer.

"When Ash decides to call it a day I can't see anyone taking over other than Gareth," said Davies of the captaincy.

Giggs will this week name his squad for his first competitive games in charge.

Wales will face Nations League games against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff and Denmark in Aarhus.

Davies believes Wales are set to benefit from Bale's flying form at the start of the La Liga season.

The 29-year-old's two goals in two games has followed on from Bale's admission he would seek summer talks with Real over his future.

Despite speculation of a move from the club he joined for a then-world record £86m in 2013, Bale has remained and become a focal point of the side with Cristiano Ronaldo having left for Juventus.

Simon Davies
Simon Davies played for Peterborough United, Tottenham, Everton and Fulham

"It's funny how it's all worked out for Gareth," said Davies, who won 58 caps for Wales between 2001 and 2010.

"The middle of last season he was struggling with injury and Ronaldo was always the main man.

"Then he scores those goals in the Champions League final, Ronaldo leaves, and now he's the main man.

"He's probably got what he's always wanted there and he's embracing it. 100 per cent (it will benefit Wales). He's a proper world star.

"When you've got someone like him - just by being on the pitch - the other team know they've got a game.

"You can just see he loves playing for Wales. He never misses a game if he's not injured and the lads have obviously got a great bond."

Davies was captain when Williams made his debut in 2008, the centre-back going on to win a total of 79 caps and leading the team to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

The 34-year-old has subsequently struggled for form and fitness, puncturing a lung in Wales' 0-0 draw to Mexico in May and being sent off in only his third appearance for Championship Stoke following a loan move from Everton.

But Davies believes Williams could have a key role as Giggs introduces youngsters into the squad, the former Manchester United midfielder having utilised rookies such as David Brooks, Ben Woodburn, Ethan Ampadu and Chris Mepham.

Simon Davies and Ryan Giggs
Simon Davies and Ryan Giggs were Wales team mates during the reigns of ark Hughes and John Toshack

"It does get tricky when you get older because you're not too sure when to step away," Davies said, speaking at a McDonald's community day.

"(But) I think he's definitely still got a role. People will need to learn from him, when these players come through there needs to be players there that can help.

"There's not many more people with more experience than him. He's definitely got a couple of years left at least."

On Giggs' challenge, Davies said he has a tough task as "Wales have hit the heights and it's a bit of a transition period he has to manage - the country has to be aware of that," but added that he believes Giggs' career experience will serve him well.

He added: "People gave him a bit of criticism when he got the job and I couldn't believe it.

"I know him and he's a passionate Welsh guy, he was my hero growing up as a kid and for all young footballers in Wales. Everyone should be proud he is Wales manager and get behind him."


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