Wales manager Chris Coleman believes that Gareth Bale will surpass Ian Rush as Wales all-time leading scorer by the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Bale, 27, found the back of the net twice in the 4-0 win over Moldova on Monday to open up the qualifiers, bringing his national team total up to 24 goals in 62 caps. Rush is Wales leading goalscorer with 28 goals in 73 appearances, and Coleman is convinced Bale will break the record by the end of the qualifying campaign.
“He will break it,” Coleman said. “If you look at his record in the last two years, you would have to say he has every chance of doing it in this campaign. Knowing Bale-o, he won’t even know about that [the record]. He comes along and he just fits in with the furniture and gets on with the job. He may know that he’s four goals away but he won’t think that he’s got to get them in this campaign, he’ll just go and do what he does. But there’s every chance, in my opinion, that he could do that in the next nine games.”
Bale also provided the assist on the opening goal by Sam Vokes after a well-measured cross.
“When you’ve got a Gareth Bale on the pitch, in a second he can change your life,” Coleman said. “One pinpoint cross, in an area of the pitch where Moldova had plenty of bodies, a great header and then it’s 1-0.”
Wales takes on Austria in their next qualifying game on Oct. 6 in Vienna.