Baaaale!

A trip to Cardiff for Wales’ international friendly match against Finland recently hardly got the juices flowing. It wasn’t just me either, as the sparse crowd of just over 11,000 suggested. The thing is, this turned out to be higher than it may otherwise have been, thanks to the presence of the world’s most expensive footballer, and local Cardiff boy, Gareth Bale.

Having been struggling with injury of late, it wasn’t certain how much of a part (if any) he would play in the fixture. A friendly, it wasn’t a match that Wales needed to win, and therefore some assumed not one in which manager Chris Coleman would feel the need to play a strong side in. Nevertheless, supporters wanted to see him in action. It would have been a bold decision not to give him a run-out.

Fortunately, for the fans (and us, as photographers), he did play. In fact, not only was he named in the starting line-up, but he played the full 90 minutes.

With the amount of global interest he attracts, it was clear there was only one man to follow. Here are a few of my photos from the match…

 

The Wales players line up for the national anthems before the match
The Wales players line up for the national anthems before the match

 

Gareth Bale of Wales smiles before kick-off
Gareth Bale of Wales smiles before kick-off

 

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

 

Gareth Bale, panned at 1/60th of a second
Gareth Bale, panned at 1/60th of a second

 

Gareth Bale gets through a gap, panned at 1/60th of a second.
Gareth Bale gets through a gap, panned at 1/60th of a second.

 

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

 

The now-world famous name of Gareth Bale on the back of his red Wales shirt
The now-world famous name of Gareth Bale, on the back of his red Wales shirt

 

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