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Rush backs Bale with Real Madrid star needing hat-trick for Wales record

Ian Rush says there would be nobody better than Gareth Bale to break his record as Wales' all-time top goalscorer.

Bale needs a hat-trick in Friday's World Cup qualifying match away to Republic of Ireland to move past Rush's 28 international goals, while a double would see him equal the mark.

After missing three months of action with an ankle injury, the 27-year-old has been back involved for Real Madrid for the past four weeks, scoring in two matches but also receiving a red card against Las Palmas.

"Records are there to be broken, I have never worried about them," Liverpool legend Rush said to Sky Sports.

"I have always thought someone would break my record one day, and if you are going to lose it then it may as well be to one of the best players in the world. 

"In fact, I would like to see him break the record in Dublin because it would mean he's got a hat-trick!"

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Wales are four points behind Ireland in Group D going into the match in Dublin, with Bale hoping to add to his four goals in the campaign so far.

"It is massive for Wales that Bale is there after his injury problems," added Rush.

"He has been the most improved player in the world over the last couple of years and, as we have seen many times before, he is capable of winning a game with a moment of magic.

"Martin O'Neill is a very cautious manager and will do everything he can to stop Wales counterattacking the Republic. But it is almost impossible to keep someone of Gareth's ability quiet for 90 minutes.

"I never qualified for a World Cup, but I'm a fan now and I want to see Wales play at one in Russia. If Gareth is scoring goals then Wales are probably winning and have the best chance of being there.

"You saw how much it meant to the country last summer when Wales reached the semi-finals of the Euros."