Last night (Thurday 12 July) Elevens Bar & Grill and the Football Association of Wales jointly hosted a Q&A evening with Gareth Bale. At the event, Gareth unveiled a new piece of memorabilia for Elevens – his match worn boots from this year’s Champions League Final with which he scored that incredible overhead kick.
The event, hosted at Elevens Bar & Grill was open to members of the public with doors opening at 6pm on Thursday evening. People started queueing from 3pm, with a cross-section of fans of all ages in Wales shirts and bucket hats.
The Q&A, conducted by Ian Gwyn Hughes from the FAW, discussed all aspects of his career so far, from growing up in Cardiff to winning 4 Champions League medals with Real Madrid. On growing up in Whitchurch, Gareth said: “My family were a huge influence on me growing up. My parents were so supportive, taking me here there and everywhere so I could play football. Growing up I can hardly remember not being with a football – I even took one to bed!”
There were a lot of youngsters in the audience, eager to hear from their hero. Gareth’s advice to them? “Work hard for what you want and who knows where that could take you.”
As a left-footer, Ryan Giggs, Wales’ national team manager was someone he looked up to growing up. Gareth mentioned it was great to beat Ian Rush’s goal scoring record for Wales with his childhood idol as manager.
“I knew I’d levelled his record at half time, I needed one more to break it. The manager wanted to take me off but I said give me another 15 minutes to see if I can do it. Luckily on 61 minutes our goalkeeping coach took too long to do the substitution on the paper, so it gave me an extra minute. It worked out perfectly.”
Gareth congratulated his teammate Luca Modric on progressing to the World Cup Final. On Croatia’s semi-final win: “It’s fantastic seeing a country so small do so well, it’s been reminiscent of us at the Euros.”
Looking back at the Euros, he discussed about how much he enjoyed the experience – even talking to the media by taking part in weekly press conferences! He emphasized the importance of the fans phenomenal support during the summer of 2016 and expressed his desire to reach the finals of a major tournament once more.
Gareth discussed his success at Real Madrid and paid his respects to his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo: “His record at Real Madrid is incredible and I wish him all the best at Juventus.” Gareth has won 4 Champions League medals alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid, with his performance as a substitute in this year’s final arguably his most significant so far. Talking about that incredible first goal in this year’s final, Gareth said: “It’s just one of those things that you don’t think about, you just react to it. I’ve always wanted to score a bicycle kick. To do it on such an occasion was the place to do it.”
After the Q&A Gareth signed autographs and took photos with fans before taking time to relax with friends and family at the bar. The match worn boots from this year’s Champions League Final are now on display at Elevens Bar & Grill.