Despite the fact that Gareth Bale has not been playing for Real Madrid in the past several weeks due to injury, he was surprisingly called up by Wales for their FIFA World Cup qualifying matches this month. Los Blancos confirmed that the Welshman is healthy enough to play, and despite being left out of Carlo Ancelotti's squad, he showed up for Wales and helped them secure an emphatic 5-1 victory over Belarus.

Wales took the lead as early as the second minute with a rebound shot from Aaron Ramsey. Bale then helped double the lead by setting up Neco Williams for a goal in the 20th minute. Then, it was Ramsey again who scored a third goal via a penalty early in the second half.

Bale had to be taken off at the half, but his presence was enough to lift his teammates into an early advantage. Ben Davies and Connor Roberts scored two more, making the consolation goal by Artem Kontsevoi for Belarus completely irrelevant.

Belgium currently leads Group E in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with Wales in second just three points ahead of Czech Republic. Estonia brings up the rear, but are yet to play against the Czechs.

Wales will be facing group winners Belgium on Tuesday in a crucial match to secure second place over Czech Republic. They only need a draw, but the Belgians are clear favourites. Bale was likely taken off early against Belarus in order to ensure that he can start on Tuesday.

As Bale shines for his national team, Ancelotti and everyone back in Madrid are taking note. He had a good start to the season before again picking up a knock, and it remains to be seen if Bale can stay health for the rest of the season. If he does, Ancelotti may very well trust him back on the pitch for the final stretch of the campaign.

Bale is now well and truly a Wales legend, being the national team's all-time leading goalscorer. His recent injury troubles have pushed him into the shadows at the Bernabeu, but Ancelotti is always the first to remind fans that the Welshman is already a Real Madrid legend given the contributions he made especially in the Champions League.

Wales national football team
Gareth Bale (R) with his Wales teammates in Rome Photo: POOL / Ryan Pierse