He’s the most expensive footballer in the world. He’s currently leading Wales on a winning streak to the top of their Euro group. But here are 15 things you never knew about the Cardiff-born superstar (probably because we made them all up)
1. Gareth was a heavy child, weighing in at a mighty 3st 4lb. His mother, unaware of her pregnancy, was visibly shaken after giving birth in the space of just three minutes. She told the ambulance crew that she ‘thought she’d shat herself’.
2. Gareth has two middle names – Gareth and Bale. If he were to write out his full name, he would write out Gareth Gareth Bale Bale.
3. At the age of 2, Gareth could juggle three hoovers and a teapot. He was all set to appear on Opportunity Knocks but he got stuck in traffic on the way to the studio and was replaced by a talking shoe.
4. When Gareth started school, he famously told his teacher that he would one day be the most expensive football player in world rugby. His teacher scoffed at him, telling him that when Gareth did become the most expensive player in world rugby, he’d eat his own feet. He now owns fibreglass feet that he can attach when he needs to walk anywhere.
5. Gareth’s best friend in school was a boy called Rhodri, who was scared of the rain. Out playing in the playground one morning, Rhodri got caught in a shower and cried like some big pussy. Gareth, ever the hero, lifted Rhodri over his shoulder and carried him to the safety of the classroom.
6. Gareth started playing football at the age of 5. By the age of 6, he already had three caps for Southampton and had the interest of Tottenham Hotspur.
7. At the age of 9, Gareth had an operation to remove some of the magic dust that had accumulated in his feet. It was sold on to other footballers who were a bit shit.
8. Gareth’s first girlfriend was a girl called Tina. Tina proposed to him outside Top Gun chip shop in Whitchurch but he didn’t hear her because he was too busy munching on a Clark’s Pie.
9. Gareth is an avid collector of cacti. It stems from his love of Stickle Bricks as a kid and likes to stick them together to make shapes.
10. Gareth got his first cap for Wales when he was 16. He scored 9 goals in a famous Welsh win over Brazil.
11. Gareth can play any position in a football team but tries to avoid being a goalkeeper ‘because it’s boring as fuck’. When he does play in goal, he lets all the balls go in so that all his team mates tell him to get back out and play somewhere else.
12. Gareth has been married three times.
13. Gareth hopes to visit the moon one day. He once told the press that ‘it looks nice there’.
14. One of Gareth’s more annoying habits is to fart whenever he smiles. He doesn’t do it on purpose. There is a medical name for it but we don’t know what it’s called.
15. Gareth can score goals from more than three miles away from a set of goal posts. His shots at goal have been recorded at travelling at more than 300mph and he can change the direction of the ball once it’s left his feet by telepathy.