The Rise Of The Red Dragons – Wales Euro 2016

Wales have qualified for their first major championships since the 1958 World Cup – their only appearance at a major tournament, ever. As you’re likely to hear at least 100 times before the tournament starts in June, they were knocked out by Brazil in the quarter finals, with the only goal scored by a 17 year old youngster called ‘Pele’. Luckily for Welsh fans, there’s no Brazil in the Euros…

Because of the way the UEFA Euro Championship seedings work, Wales’s FIFA rank of 8th in the world is essentially irrelevant and they are due to be among the bottom seeds for the tournaments. Given their performances against Belgium (who are amongst the top tier of seeds) Wales will be more than ready to try and beat some big names. Ignoring some poor performances – namely their narrow away with against Andorra and the recent 0-2 defeat by Bosnia – Wales in general played very well in the groups. Their convincing display against Israel in the 3-0 victory at Haifa came after the home team had beaten Bosnia by the same score line, and they were unlucky not to seal their qualification with a home win against Israel in September.

It’s a golden era for Welsh football – not just internationally, but with Swansea performing admirably in the Premier League too – and their starting line up (barring injuries) includes star names such as Gareth Bale, Ashley Williams, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey. Gareth Bale has been the star of the show, as his 7 goal tally in qualifying shows, and it was obvious how much qualification meant to him. He’s managed to achieve something Welsh legend Ryan Giggs never did, although plenty of comparisons will be made between the two.

Good luck to Wales at the Euro Championships. How well will they do? Only time will tell.

Take a look at our Euro 2016 football tips section!

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