Madrid - Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been named
Welsh player of the year for a record fifth time by the Football Association of
Bale, who has 52 caps for his country, scored the only goal
in Wales' 1-0 win over Belgium in Cardiff in June and scored another winner to
secure a 1-0 victory in Cyprus in September in the European Championship
The wins have put Wales on the brink of their first major
finals in over 50 years.
The 26-year-old had a stellar debut campaign at Real Madrid,
as he scored the winner in the King's Cup final and also the Champions League
However, Bale had a difficult second season in Spain as
Madrid lost their Champions League crown to bitter rivals Barcelona and has
often been jeered by the supporters at Santiago Bernabeu.
Also read: Wales banking on Bale to clinch Euro 2016 place
"Look at the last year and he's scored some incredible
goals for us," Wales manager Chris Coleman was quoted as saying by the
"All the players have done fantastic, but in my book he
deserves it because of what he's done in this campaign," he added.
Wales currently sit eighth in the FIFA world rankings, their
highest-ever position. Coleman, though, was not amused with their failure to
attract top teams to play in international friendlies despite the rise.
"I don't know, maybe." Coleman said, when asked
whether teams were scared to face Wales. "Look at the friendly games and
the big boys keep it among themselves, and that's disappointing.
"We kind of thought that we might be able to tempt a
Spain or a Germany and find out how good we are but there's been no interest.
"There's talk of Argentina after Christmas. Should we
get to France then we need a couple of really good juicy ones before we get out
there. But for next month there's nothing. Ideally we want two.
"We were turned down by one or two, which is
disappointing. Italy didn't want to play us."For
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