Gareth Bale has become Wales’ all-time appearance record holder, overtaking teammate Chris Gunther by being awarded his 110th international cap in the World Cup clash with Iran.
Prior to kick-off against Iran, Bale and Gunter were level on 109 senior Wales caps. But with Bale in the starting XI named by manager Rob Page and Gunter among the substitutes, it pushed the former Real Madrid star one clear into new record territory.
Aside from a brief run of games in 2021, Gunter, who has played his club football in League One since 2020, hasn’t been a regular Wales starter since 2018.
The 33-year-old full-back was also named on the bench against the United States and that is how it will likely stay throughout this tournament unless there are unforeseen defensive injuries.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is also only just behind, getting his 108th cap against Iran.
- Gareth Bale (110)
- Chris Gunter (109)
- Wayne Hennessey (108)
- Neville Southall (92)
- Ashley Williams (86)
- Gary Speed (85)
- Craig Bellamy (78)
- Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey (both 77)
- Ben Davies, Dean Saunders (both 75)
Bale is already Wales’ all-time record goalscorer as well. His penalty against the Americans in Wales’ first World Cup game in 64 years was the 41st of his international career.
The draw against the Americans was an evening kick-off, but the morning game against Iran comes at a time when less people back home might be able to watch it.
Ahead of the game, Bale called for schools in Wales to let kids tune in.
“Being a 10am kick-off in Wales, if I was one of the teachers, I’d let them watch the game. I hope they do. It’s a historical moment in Wales, for us to be at a World Cup,” he said.
“Some of the parents of kids I know all want to watch the game but don’t want to take them off school. So I think a lot of schools will put the game on for them to cheer us on and get behind us. It’s a mini history lesson, and hopefully it’ll be a great occasion for all of them.”