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Who is the leading all-time top goal scorer for Wales? Bale, Rush and The Dragons' greatest strikers

20:46 GMT 21/11/2022
Gareth Bale Wales
Wales' greatest goal scorers include some of the most technically gifted players.

Wales might not have enjoyed much success at the highest level, but they have produced some fine attacking talent throughout the years.

They have qualified for the World Cup twice, in 1958 and 2022, reaching the quarter-final in the 1958 edition before being knocked out by eventual champions Brazil.

Their greatest feat on the international stage was reaching the Euro 2016 semi-final, where they lost to eventual winners Portugal

Gareth Bale was one of the stars of the show for Wales during that successful run, but the winger is by no means the first superstar to represent the Dragons.

Just think Ryan Giggs. Or Mark Hughes. Or how about Ian Rush?!

Who is Wales' most lethal attacker ever, though?

Let's take a look!

  • Gareth Bale Wales 2021-22

    #1 Gareth Bale | 41 goals

    The greatest goalscorer Wales has produced with 41 goals so far, Gareth Bale has been part of the national team ever since making his debut back in May 2006 against Trinidad and Tobago.

    At 16 years and 315 days old, Bale was the youngest player ever to represent Wales at that time.

    He opened his account in October 2006, scoring directly from a free kick in a 5-1 Euro 2008 qualifying defeat to Slovakia.

    The former Real Madrid star's biggest achievement on the international stage was leading Wales to the semi-final of Euro 2016.

  • Ian Rush Wales

    #2 Ian Rush | 28 goals

    A mainstay in the Welsh national team for more than 15 years, Ian Rush actually made his debut before he had been handed his first start for Liverpool.

    Rush featured in 73 games for Wales, scoring 28 times, including a memorable goal in a 1-0 win against Italy in 1988.

    In October 1992, the Liverpool legend scored his first hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Faroe Islands in Wales' World Cup qualifier.

    Rush was the record goalscorer for Wales until his record was surpassed by Bale.

  • Trevor Ford (second from the bottom right) for the Wales national team

    #3 Trevor Ford | 23 goals

    Third on the list of Wales' all-time top goal scorers is Trevor Ford, who featured for the national team on 38 occasions and scored 23 goals.

    Ford's best performance came when he scored a hat-trick against Belgium in 1949.

    The striker didn't feature for Wales at the 1958 World Cup because he was suspended from the game for publishing a book called 'I Lead the Attack', in which he revealed all details of illicit payments that he received from Sunderland in the age of maximum wage.

  • Ivor Allchurch's statue outside Swansea stadium

    #4 Ivor Allchurch | 23 goals

    Ivor Allchurch made his debut for Wales aged 21 on November 15, 1950 in a match against England. Despite a 4-2 defeat in that game, he remained a regular player in the national team and went on to score 23 goals in 68 international games.

    Allchurch's biggest feat for Wales was when he scored in both legs against Israel to help them qualify for the 1958 World Cup.

    At the World Cup, he played in all three of Wales' group games, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Mexico before netting the first goal in a 2-1 win against Hungary in a play-off match to reach the quarter-final, before a goal from Pele broke Welsh dreams in the last eight.

    Following the tournament, Wales international Dave Bowen famously commented, "They looked at Ivor and wondered where he had been hiding. He could have played for any of the teams out there, including Brazil."

  • Dean Saunders Nottingham Forest

    #5 Dean Saunders | 22 goals

    With 22 goals in 75 caps for Wales, Dean Saunders is one of their most prolific goalscorers.

    The most notable goal of his international career came in September 1991 when he scored for Wales in their win against Brazil in Cardiff.

    Saunders' last appearance for his country came as a substitute in the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in March 2001, a few months before he turned 37.

  • Aaron Ramsey Wales Northern Ireland Euro 2016

    #6 Aaron Ramsey | 20 goals

    Aaron Ramsey broke into the Wales senior national team at the age of just 17.

    Shortly before his 18th birthday, he scored his first goal against Liechtenstein in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

    In March 2011, then manager Gary Speed appointed Ramsey as the national team captain, which made him the youngest-ever Wales captain at the age of 20 years and 90 days.

    Part of the Euro 2016 squad that reached the semi-final, Ramsey set up a goal for Hal Robson-Kanu in their opening clash against Slovakia, leading Wales to their first win in a major football tournament in 58 years.

    He had a dream tournament in which he finished the joint-highest assist provider with four assists alongside Eden Hazard, and was also named in the 'Team of the Tournament'.

    Ramsey has amassed 20 goals for Wales.

  • Retiring Wales striker Craig Bellamy.

    #7 Craig Bellamy | 19 goals

    Seventh on the list of Wales' all time top goal-scorers in history, Craig Bellamy also had the honour of captaining his country at international level.

    He made his international debut in March 1998 as an 18-year-old in a friendly game against Jamaica at Ninian Park and scored his first international goal in a 3-0 win against Malta in June 1998.

    However, he didn't attain a regular place in the national team until the Euro 2000 qualifiers, famously scoring a late winner in the game against Denmark.

    Bellamy's most famous goal for Wales came against Italy in October 2002 when he rounded Gianluigi Buffon to score the winner.

    He featured in 78 international games for Wales, scoring 19 goals.

  • Adam Kwarasey Portland Timbers Robbie Earnshaw Vancouver Whitecaps

    #8 Robert Earnshaw | 16 goals

    Born in Zambia, Robert Earnshaw chose to represent Wales in 1998 and went on to score 16 goals at international level.

    The striker made his debut for the senior national team in May 2002, scoring the winning goal in a game against Germany.

    A hat-trick against Scotland in February 2004 cemented his starting position in the Welsh squad for the next eight years.

    Earnshaw also had the honour of captaining the national team at the Nations Cup in 2011.

  • Cliff Jones (extreme right) aongside John White and Danny Blanchflower

    #9 Cliff Jones | 16 goals

    Cliff Jones made his debut for Wales on May 1954 against Austria and in his second appearance for the national side in October 1955, he scored in a 2-1 win against England.

    If it wasn't for Jones' goals against Israel, Wales wouldn't have qualified for the 1958 World Cup. If that wasn't enough, he was their best performer at the tournament, where they reached the quarter-final, losing out to Brazil courtesy of a goal from Pele.

    In 59 games for the national team, Jones scored 16 goals.

  • Mark Hughes Chelsea

    #10 Mark Hughes | 16 goals

    Tenth on the list of top international goal scorers for Wales is Mark Hughes.

    The Manchester United legend scored 16 goals in 72 games for the national team, with his first goal coming just 17 minutes into his Wales debut when he scored the winner against England on May 2, 1984.

    His mos clinical performances for Wales came against San Marino when he scored a brace in back-to-back World Cup qualification games against them in June and July 1996 respectively.

    Hughes had a pretty remarkable career at club level, joining Manchester United after leaving school in 1980.

    He left for Barcelona in 1986 before returning back to Old Trafford for his most successful stint under Sir Alex Ferguson between 1988 to 1995.

    He also featured for Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

  • #11 Wales' all-time top goal scorers

    Position

    Player

    Games

    Goals

    Wales career

    1.

    Gareth Bale

    108

    40

    2006 - present

    2.

    Ian Rush

    73

    28

    1980 - 1996

    3.

    Trevor Ford

    38

    23

    1947 - 1957

    4.

    Ivor Allchurch

    68

    23

    1951 - 1966

    5.

    Dean Saunders

    75

    22

    1986 - 2001

    6.

    Aaron Ramsey

    75

    20

    2008 - present

    7.

    Craig Bellamy

    78

    19

    1998 - 2013

    8.

    Robert Earnshaw

    58

    16

    2002 - 2012

    9.

    Cliff Jones

    59

    16

    1954 - 1969

    10.

    Mark Hughes

    72

    16

    1984 - 1999