Gareth Bale became Wales' all-time top scorer as his hat-trick inspired a 6-0 rout of China during Ryan Giggs' first game at the helm.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) reportedly faced a £100,000 dent in their China Cup appearances fee if the Real Madrid superstar did not feature, and Manchester United great Giggs decided he wanted Bale in place from the very start of his reign.
The 28-year-old has received a rapturous reception since the squad's arrival in Nanning and he thrilled those in attendance with a brilliant second-minute solo goal.
Bale netted his second in the 21st minute, drawing level with Liverpool hero Ian Rush on 28 Wales goals.
The country's current number nine, Sam Vokes, and Hull City's on-loan Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson were also on target before half-time – both beneficiaries of a shambolic China defence that did a thorough disservice to the esteemed Marcello Lippi in their dugout.
For the rookie Giggs, who kept the 3-4-3 system that served predecessor Chris Coleman so well and saw Vokes add his second before the hour, it was a serene introduction to international management, crowned by the man who has replaced and arguably surpassed him as Wales' world-class inspiration on the field.
29 - Gareth Bale is now the top scorer for the Welsh national team with 29 goals, breaking the record of 28 goals previously held by Ian Rush. Dragon. pic.twitter.com/51Jjlt6GQG— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 22, 2018
Noise levels inside the Guangxi Sports Center Stadium climbed considerably the first time Bale collected the ball in an attacking position and he did not disappoint.
Wales' star forward collected Vokes' flick-on, held off He Guan and powered past Wang Shenchao to arrow an excellent side-footed finish high into the net.
Moments after Ashley Williams wasted a glorious chance from a 20th-minute corner, China inexplicably presented possession to Vokes, who selflessly played in Bale to slot home.
The Burnley striker duly got in on the act, diverting Andy King's knockdown into the bottom corner following a wonderful raking pass from Bale, who almost had a hat-trick when Yan beat a sweetly struck 20-yarder to safety.
There was more misery for an abject China before the break, with Wilson cutting in from the right past He to float a sumptuous finish into the far corner and stylishly mark his 21st birthday.
Wang and He's withdrawals among a raft of half-time substitutions felt like an act of mercy from Lippi, whose side nearly got on the board through Wei Shihao's acrobatic volley from a 50th-minute corner.
Wilson claimed an assist to go with a goal on his first international start as a cute reverse ball allowed Vokes to get the better of something vaguely resembling an offside trap and roll in a 57th minute finish.
Vokes volleyed off target with a hat-trick in his sights, leaving Bale to stroll through an area of the field where he might have expected to find defenders and slot a 62nd-minute effort beyond Yan for his piece of history.
The man of the hour made way to an adoring ovation before Wayne Hennessey tipped substitute Yu Hanchao's effort on to the post – a small reminder to Giggs that life in his new job will rarely, if ever, be quite this easy.
Key Opta stats:
- This is Wales' biggest margin of victory since August 1996 when beating San Marino by the same scoreline (6-0).
- The 6-0 win is the biggest win for any Wales manager on their debut and Giggs is just the fifth different manager to win by such a margin (Committee, Mike Smith, Terry Yorath and Bobby Gould).
- This loss was Marcello Lippi's biggest margin of defeat as an international manager (0-6).
- Wales have scored as many goals in 2018 as they did in the whole of 2017 (six goals, eight games).
- Gareth Bale has now scored the first goal under three of the last four managers of the Welsh national team (Brian Flynn, Chris Coleman and Ryan Giggs).
- Gareth Bale is now the top scorer for the Welsh national team with 29 goals, breaking the record of 28 goals previously held by Ian Rush.
- Bale's hat-trick was his first at international level, making him the first player to bag a treble for Wales since Robert Earnshaw vs Scotland in 2004.
- Sam Vokes was directly involved in four goals against China (two goals, two assists); as many as in his previous 31 games for Wales.
|Lopes: A return to Man City? My present is Monaco but the future belongs to God|
|Montella urges Sevilla to use Copa setback as motivation|
|Rakitic desperate for Iniesta stay|
|Jardim one of the best in the world – Lopes praises Monaco boss amid interest|
|Napoli refusing to give up on Scudetto dream|
|It´s a good time for Iniesta to leave Barca, says father|
|MLS Review: Five-star LAFC, Dynamo headline goal frenzy as Atlanta silence Ibra´s Galaxy|
|Sanchez hails legendary Wenger ahead of Arsenal exit|
|Valverde: Nothing behind Iniesta substitution amid growing CSL links|
|Hoffenheim boss Nagelsmann dismisses Arsenal and Chelsea links|
|Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after ´embarrassing´ Benevento loss|
|Iniesta to make decision on his future public ´this week´|
|United want to win everything next year, says Wembley hero Sanchez|
|Cardiff edge Forest to boost promotion push|
|Bartomeu confirms Iniesta has an ´offer´ amid Chinese Super League reports|
|Messi second player to score in five Copa finals|
|Mourinho challenges Alexis after Wembley star turn|
|Vieira ready for Arsenal job, says Guardiola|
|FA Cup win would represent successful season - Conte|
|Guardiola: I want Manchester City to be a Premier League machine|
|Sevilla 0 Barcelona 5: Suarez and Messi lead crushing Copa final win|
|AC Milan 0 Benevento 1: Rossoneri suffer again as bottom side stave off relegation...for now|
|Semi-final pain for frustrated Kane|
|London stay was crucial to FA Cup Wembley win - Mourinho|
|Pochettino: Spurs need four more years – with me or another|
|He has not delivered optimal performances - Stoger explains Schmelzer omission|
|Modric open to Ibrahimovic union in MLS|
|Spurs can´t keep doing this – Alli|
|Heynckes highlights importance of ´psychology´ before Real Madrid clash|
|United are about winning titles and playing finals, says happy Herrera|
|Pogba and United the comeback kings again|
|Giroud thanks Wenger for making his ´dream come true´|
|Borussia Dortmund 4 Bayer Leverkusen 0: Reus and Sancho star as Stoger´s side go third|
|Manchester United 2 Tottenham 1: Sanchez and Herrera seal comeback to book FA Cup final spot|
|Zaha´s no diver, insists Hodgson|
|Championship Review: Wolves win title, Sunderland relegated|
|Wilson backs Wenger for international role|
|West Brom comeback branded ´useless´ by Klopp|
|Injured Kyrgios doubtful for French Open|
|Lewandowski breaks Bundesliga record in Bayern Munich victory|
|Watford 0 Crystal Palace 0: Stalemate edges both sides closer to survival|
|Inter not inferior to Roma and Lazio, Spalletti insists|
|Pogba and Sanchez start for Manchester United at Wembley|
|Klopp applauds Ings´ performance|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski breaks Bundesliga record|
|Livermore urges West Brom to ´keep fighting´ as relegation looms|
|Klopp blames ´dry pitch´ and referee for West Brom draw|
|Salah finds the net again to equal Premier League scoring record|
|West Brom 2 Liverpool 2: Careless Reds drop points to offer Baggies slim survival hope|
|Roma will be eyeing revenge against Liverpool, warns Ancelotti|
|Bayern hand Bundesliga debut to Lars Lukas Mai|
|Costa should be back for Arsenal second leg, reveals Simeone|
|Wenger could coach Paris Saint-Germain, says Emery|
|Wenger changed the face of English football - Dixon|
|Rodgers shrugs off Arsenal talk|
|Clash between top two ´more decisive´ for Napoli, Allegri claims|
|Chongqing sponsor ´positive´ over Iniesta deal|
|Valverde´s quiet crisis management leaves Barca ready to clean up|
|Vieira ´flattered´ by Arsenal link|
|Wenger was sacked by Arsenal, Wright claims|
|Dyche eager to feature in ´legendary´ Wenger´s Emirates farewell|
|United and City ´a million miles apart´, says Parker|
|Pogba must ´take more responsibility´, says Matic|
|Sporting Kansas City 6 Vancouver Whitecaps 0: Russell stars with hat-trick|
|I don´t fear the challenge – Klopp eager to close gap to City|
|Everybody wants to play under him – Ozil pays tribute to Wenger|
|Conte defends Chelsea record compared to Mourinho|
|LaLiga strugglers Espanyol show Flores the door|
|Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella|
|Reims´ latest vintage secure promotion to Ligue 1|
|Millwall 0 Fulham 3: Sessegnon on target as Jokanovic´s side go second|
|Ancelotti welcomes Arsenal links, praises Wenger decision|
|I think Arsenal would be good for a German coach - Podolski|
|Wilshere, Ramsey, Mertesacker and the best social media reaction to Wenger´s Arsenal departure|
|Exeter left ´disappointed´ by Ampadu transfer verdict|
|Copa del Rey glory a good way to put European exit behind us, says Valverde|
|LMA hails Wenger´s impact at Arsenal|
|Wenger passes the torch as Arsenal face up to his formidable legacy|
|Gazidis: Arsenal cannot replace Wenger – we need a new path|
|Van Bronckhorst using Wenger´s methods at Feyenoord|
|I´d break another finger to win the Copa del Rey - Rakitic|
|Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager´s worst moments|
|Wright: More Arsenal changes needed after Wenger exit|
|Guardiola wishes Iniesta the best ahead of potential Barcelona exit|
|Real football people appreciate Wenger - Moyes, Warnock and more pay tribute|
|Guardiola set for contract talks with Manchester City|
|Liverpool top, DVDs just invented and no Harry Potter – The world when Wenger joined Arsenal|
|Heynckes cannot compare Lewandowski and Ronaldo|
|Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe and more – the stars Wenger claims he could have signed|
|Ferguson: Rival, colleague and friend Wenger is one of the greatest|
|Gattuso wary of challenge for Milan´s European place|
|Wembley no advantage for Spurs in semi-final, warns Mourinho|
|Neuer returns to Bayern training after seventh-month absence|
|PSG, Monaco, the CSL, France? - Wenger´s possible next moves|
|Wenger ´an example´ to foreign Premier League managers like Benitez|
|Wilshere: Wenger is like a father|
|Guardiola wants Wenger to find new role in football|
|Henry: Wenger´s Arsenal legacy is untouchable|
|Mourinho: Wenger feud shows how much I respect him|
|Conte: Top four still possible for Chelsea|
|Aguero out for the season - Guardiola|
|Wenger´s 22-year Arsenal tenure will not be matched, says Conte|
|Celtic would let Rodgers move to Arsenal|
|Squillaci, Cech & Wenger´s worst signings at Arsenal|
|Heynckes: I cannot imagine Wenger at another club|
|Thank you Arsene - Emery pays tribute to Wenger|
|Fabregas and Van Persie join tributes to Arsenal boss Wenger|
|1,228 matches and seven FA Cups - Wenger at Arsenal in Opta numbers|
|Mertesacker ´emotional´ as Wenger announces Arsenal departure|
|Ancelotti, Tuchel, Henry – Where do Arsenal turn after Wenger?|
|Klopp doesn´t want Liverpool to chase Golden Boot for Salah|
|´The Arsene Wenger Stadium´ - Former Arsenal players call for tribute|
|Wenger was so good ´it was scary´, says Merson|
|I fell in love with playing for Wenger - Winterburn|
|Van der Sar urges Kluivert to continue Ajax development|
|Klopp pays tribute to ´outstanding´ Wenger|
|Wenger´s consistency will never be matched – Kroenke hails Arsenal manager´s legacy|
|Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager´s best moments|
|Vieira, Henry and Wenger´s best signings at Arsenal|
|Wenger to stand down as Arsenal manager|
|Ibrahimovic not in Sweden´s plans despite latest World Cup hint|
|Rafinha confident over fresh Bayern deal|
|Perth Glory sack Kenny Lowe|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Lopez misses two penalties as Racing crush Vasco|
|Gunes hospitalised after suffering head injury in abandoned Fenerbahce-Besiktas clash|
|Thiago Silva eyeing PSG exit amid criticism|
|Premier League or Champions League title will take Spurs to ´different level´ – Pochettino|
|Klopp: Bayern Munich move would´ve been complicated|
|Wenger names Vieira as potential Arsenal successor|
|Simeone demands more alert Atletico to solve away day problems|
|Malaga relegated from LaLiga after late defeat|
|Conte reaches 100 Chelsea games with win at Burnley|