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Gareth Bale in mix to be ‘greatest British player of our generation’ says Rio Ferdinand at 2022 World Cup

Rio Ferdinand believes Gareth Bale should be in the conversation as the greatest British footballer of this generation.

Bale, 33, is Wales’ record appearance holder (111) and also all-time highest scorer with 41 goals.

He was a vital player for Tottenham before leaving in 2013 for Real Madrid, where he scored in Champions League finals and netted the winner in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.

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He was integral in Wales qualifying for the 2016 and 2020 European Championships as well as the 2022 World Cup.

Even though his performances in Qatar have not been great and his club form has dipped over the last few years, Ferdinand says he is up there with another Welshman, Ryan Giggs, and England’s Wayne Rooney as the best British player in this generation.

“The main reason for me is he has had the biggest moments and biggest impacts in those spells,” former England defender Ferdinand said on the BBC.

“Champions League he decides them, getting Wales to tournaments, doing things at tournaments, he is one of the most important people.”

Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush was Wales’ all-time leading scorer with 28 goals before being overtaken by Bale.

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“He’s most probably the greatest ever Welsh player,” said Rush.

“To be the record scorer and to have the record appearances as well, add them together. He has been fantastic.”

Bale has said that he will not be retiring from international football at the 2022 World Cup.

His club future is uncertain as his current contract with MLS side LAFC expires next summer.

“We have relied on him so much over the years and he has always delivered,” said former Wales captain Ashley Williams.

“In that moment we needed him, massive moments where we were keeping a clean sheet and needed a free-kick or wonder goal, he does it.

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“He is such a legend. He goes down as the greatest Welsh player ever.”

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27/11/2022 AT 15:58

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