Gareth Bale hails 'world class' Burnley and Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey

An ecstatic Gareth Bale hailed Wales teammate Wayne Hennessey as one of the best goalkeepers in the world after the Red Dragons created history by qualifying for their first World Cup in 64 years.

Burnley’s Hennessey was in inspired form against Ukraine at the Carduiff City Stadium in a 1-0 win, courtesy of Bale’s free kick, which was deflected in off Andriy Yarmolenko.

Hennessey – Wales’ all-time most capped goalkeeper with 102 caps – has spent most of his 15-year international career alongside Bale, who will leave Real Madrid this summer, and, after making nine saves in the World Cup play-off, the most in the European World Cup qualification campaign without conceding, Bale said: “Can I just say one thing first, this guy’s performance is the best I have ever seen to date from a goalkeeper.

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“He doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.

Wales' striker Gareth Bale (L) celebrates with Wales' goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey after winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 play-off final qualifier football match between Wales and Ukraine at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on June 5, 2022. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)

"[It was] not just nine saves - they were important saves, big saves, they kept us in the game.

“I know people talk about other keepers, but I would not swap him [for any goalkeeper] in the world.”

Two of Hennessey’s stops, in particular, were outstanding, including a key first half save from Artem Dovbyk, before another magnificent block to deny Viktor Tsygankov early in the second half,

Hennessey has been capped at Under 17, 19 and 21 level for Wales, and made his senior debut for Wales against New Zealand in May 2007.