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Robinson exclusive: Man Utd? Real Madrid? Comparing my ex-teammates Giggs & Bale

Throughout the history of football there are always superstars that will take the game by storm, and the next star will always be compared to the legacy left by their predecessors.

Some names stand a little taller than others like Brazil's Ronaldo vs Neymar, Portugal's Luis Figo vs Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina's Pele vs Messi. All these men have all graced the world game in amazing fashion and etched themselves into the history books.

For Wales one of their shining stars of today is Gareth Bale, whose footballing presence was of galactic proportions before he joined Los Galacticos, Real Madrid.

The 30-year old's resume speaks volumes, having played in England and Spain's top tiers for the last 14 years. His progression from left-back to left-forward was always destined to happen due to his skills and ability to defend and play from deep in the field.

Fast forward over a decade and Bale is one of the most recognisable faces in world football. He dazzles on the field, has made waves through Spain as one of the few British players to be playing abroad, and will look to lead Wales to their first World Cup campaign since 1958.

Former Wales international Carl Robinson has heaped nothing but praise on the Madrid based striker, as well as shedding light on his presence as a teammate. Robinson, who currently manages A-League side Newcastle Jets, suggests that Bale's defensive capabilities served him well as he progressed further up the field in his career.

"There are a few players who have made their names as left wingers that started off playing in defence. Having played in the back line first, Bale had a lot more room to exploit if he made runs up the touchline, whereas some wingers and strikers won't track back if they lose the ball," Robinson told Tribalfootball.com.

"Bale's ability shone through when he was given the chance. That game against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League will stick in everyone's mind because of his performance, he played from the back and finished with a hat trick."

Bale's Welsh predecessor is also one of the top athletes to have graced the game in Ryan Giggs. The current Wales manager amassed nearly 1000 games for Manchester United and almost 70 games for Wales. His name has a certain prestige to it, winning a plethora of trophies with United and earning individual accolades during his time at Old Trafford.

It makes for a compelling argument, which Welshman was the better player. Of course things like the era of modern football and elite athletes has changed drastically, but fans can't help but compare and wonder which would shine more if they were on a level playing field.

Robinson was privy to both players as people, and offered his insight as to their unique character, which is something they both have in common.

"You'll find that a lot of players have an edge about them, such as Wayne Rooney or Zlatan Ibrahimovic. These kinds of players play with an edge about them that doesn't allow external factors to affect their performances and they play to their strengths. Bale and Giggs both have that edge as mentally strong footballers, it's a truly unique level of professionalism that they carried into their games.

"It's hard to truly compare them, there's no right answer because they'e similar in a lot of ways, they were both high level athletes of their time, and they're both phenomenal for club and country. They're fantastic people as well which can be a rare quality in football."

About the author

Chris Sermeno

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