Wales National Football Team
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Wales National Football Team

Wales
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Dragons (Welsh: Y Dreigiau)
AssociationFootball Association of Wales (FAW)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRyan Giggs
CaptainGareth Bale
Most capsChris Gunter (99)
Top scorerGareth Bale (33)
Home stadiumCardiff City Stadium
FIFA codeWAL
FIFA ranking
Current 20 Increase 1 (22 October 2020)[1]
Highest8 (October 2015)
Lowest117 (August 2011)
Elo ranking
Current 18 Increase 7 (19 November 2020)[2]
Highest3 (1876~1885)
Lowest88 (March 2011)
First international
 Scotland 4-0 Wales 
(Glasgow, Scotland; 26 March 1876)
Biggest win
 Wales 11-0 Ireland 
(Wrexham, Wales; 3 March 1888)
Biggest defeat
 Scotland 9-0 Wales 
(Glasgow, Scotland; 23 March 1878)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 1958)
Best resultQuarter-finals, 1958
European Championship
Appearances2 (first in 2016)
Best resultSemi-finals, 2016

The Wales national football team (Welsh: Tîm pêl-droed cenedlaethol Cymru) represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the governing body for football in Wales and the third-oldest national football association in the world, founded in 1876.

The team recorded the biggest rise in the history of the FIFA World Rankings, moving from 117th in 2011 to 8th place in 2015.[3] They are also the smallest nation by population to ever reach the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship, after reaching the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-finals.[4]

In addition to reaching the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016, Wales reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and have qualified for UEFA Euro 2020. They also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-finals, though this was played on a two-legged, home-and-away basis and is not considered part of the finals tournament.

Historically, the Welsh team has featured a number of players from Wales' top club teams, Cardiff City and Swansea City. These two Welsh clubs play in the English league system alongside fellow Welsh clubs Newport County, Wrexham and Merthyr Town. However, the majority of Welsh football clubs play in the Welsh football league system.

Wales has always had a national football team that plays in major professional tournaments, though not in the Olympic Games. This is due to the International Olympic Committee recognising the United Kingdom as the representative side, and not Wales, Scotland, England or Northern Ireland.

History

The early years

Report of The Cardiff Times about Wales' first competitive match against Scotland in 1876.
The Wales side of 1887-88

Wales played its first competitive match on 25 March 1876 against Scotland in Glasgow, making it the third oldest international football team in the world. Although the Scots won the first fixture 4-0, a return match was planned in Wales the following year, and so it was that the first international football match on Welsh soil took place at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, on 5 March 1877. Scotland took the spoils winning 2-0. Wales' first match against England came in 1879, a 2-1 defeat at the Kennington Oval, London, and in 1882, Wales faced Ireland for the first time, winning 7-1 in Wrexham.

The associations of the four Home Nations met at the International Football Conference in Manchester on 6 December 1882 to set down a set of worldwide rules. This meeting saw the establishment of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to approve changes to the rules, a task the four associations still perform to this day. The 1883-84 season saw the formation of the British Home Championship, a tournament which was played annually between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, until 1983-84.[5] Wales were champions on 12 occasions, winning outright seven times whilst sharing the title five times.

The FAW became members of FIFA, world football's governing body, in 1910, but the relationship between FIFA and the British associations was fraught and the British nations withdrew from FIFA in 1928 in a dispute over payments to amateur players. As a result, Wales did not enter the first three FIFA World Cups. In 1932, Wales played host to the Republic of Ireland, the first time they played against a side from outside the four home nations. One year later, Wales played a match outside the United Kingdom for the first time when they travelled to Paris to play France national football team in a match drawn 1-1. After World War II, Wales, along with the other three home nations, rejoined FIFA in 1946 and took part in the qualifying rounds for the 1950 World Cup, the 1949-50 Home Championships being designated as a qualifying group. The top two teams were to qualify for the finals in Brazil, but Wales finished bottom of the group.

1958 World Cup

John Charles on international duty for Wales, against Scotland, 1954

The 1950s were a golden age for Welsh football with stars such as Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, Alf Sherwood, Jack Kelsey, Trevor Ford, Ronnie Burgess, Terry Medwin and John Charles.

Wales made its only World Cup finals tournament appearance in the 1958 edition in Sweden. However, their path to qualification was unusual. Having finished second to Czechoslovakia in qualifying Group 4, the golden generation of Welsh football managed by Jimmy Murphy seemed to have missed out on qualification, but the politics of the Middle East subsequently intervened. In the Asian/African qualifying zone, Egypt and Sudan had refused to play against Israel following the Suez crisis, while Indonesia had insisted on meeting Israel on neutral ground. As a result, FIFA proclaimed Israel winners of their respective group. However, FIFA did not want a team to qualify for the World Cup finals without actually playing a match, and so lots were drawn of all the second-placed teams in UEFA. Belgium were drawn out first but refused to participate, and so then Wales was drawn out and awarded a two-legged play-off match against Israel with a place in Sweden for the winners.[6] Having defeated Israel 2-0 at the Ramat Gan Stadium and 2-0 at Ninian Park, Cardiff, Wales went through to a World Cup finals tournament for the first time.

The strong Welsh squad made their mark in Sweden, drawing all the matches in their group against Hungary, Mexico and Sweden before defeating Hungary in a play-off match to reach the quarter-finals against Brazil. However, Wales' chances of victory against Brazil were hampered by an injury to John Charles that ruled him out of the match. Wales lost 1-0 with 17-year-old Pelé scoring his first international goal. The goal made Pelé the youngest World Cup goalscorer and Brazil went on to win the tournament.

Wales' remarkable campaign in Sweden was the subject of the best-selling book When Pele Broke Our Hearts: Wales and the 1958 World Cup (by Mario Risoli, St David's Press) which was published on the 40th anniversary of the World Cup and was also the inspiration for a Bafta Cymru-nominated documentary.

1970s

Wales failed to qualify for the first four finals tournaments of the UEFA European Championship from its inception in 1960; in 1976, the team - managed by Mike Smith - reached the quarter-finals of the competition, having finished top of qualifying Group 2 ahead of Hungary, Austria and Luxembourg, but this was not considered part of the finals. Prior to 1980, only four countries qualified for the finals tournament, and Wales were drawn to play against the winners of Group 3 - Yugoslavia - in a two-legged, home-and-away tie. Wales lost the first leg 2-0 in Zagreb and were eliminated from the competition following a 1-1 draw in a bad-tempered return leg at Cardiff's Ninian Park, which was marred by crowd trouble. This initially led to Wales being banned from the 1980 tournament, but this was reduced on appeal to a four-year ban on qualifying matches being played within 100 miles of Cardiff. Yugoslavia went on to finish fourth in the 1976 tournament.

The following year, Wales defeated England on English soil for the first time in 42 years and secured their only victory to date at Wembley Stadium thanks to a Leighton James penalty. Another notable achievement came in the 1980 British Home Championship, as Wales comprehensively defeated England at the Racecourse Ground. Goals from Mickey Thomas, Ian Walsh, Leighton James and an own goal by Phil Thompson saw Wales defeat England 4-1 just four days after England had defeated the then-world champions, Argentina.

1980s

In the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the Wales team - managed by Mike England - came extremely close to qualification; a 3-0 defeat against the Soviet Union in their final match meant they missed out on goal difference, but the real damage had been done by their failure to beat Iceland in their last home match, the match eventually finishing 2-2 after several hold-ups due to floodlight failures.

Mark Hughes marked his debut for Wales by scoring the only goal of the match as England were defeated once again in 1984. The following season, Hughes was again on target, scoring a wonder goal as Wales thrashed Spain 3-0 at the Racecourse during qualification for the 1986 World Cup. However, despite defeating Scotland 1-0 at Hampden Park, it was again Iceland that wrecked Welsh hopes by defeating Wales 1-0 in Reykjavík, and for the second World Cup in a row, Wales missed out on goal difference. Wales had to win their last match at home to Scotland to be guaranteed at least a play-off, but were held to a 1-1 draw in a match marred by the death of Scotland manager Jock Stein, who collapsed from a heart attack at the end of the match.

1990s

Under Terry Yorath, Wales attained what was then their highest position in the FIFA World Rankings on 27 August 1993. Again Wales came close to qualifying for a major championship when they came within a whisker of reaching the 1994 World Cup. Needing to win the final match of the group at home to Romania, Paul Bodin missed a penalty when the scores were level 1-1; the miss was immediately followed by Romania taking the lead and going on to win 2-1.[7]

Following the failure to qualify, Yorath's contract as manager of the national side was not renewed by the FAW, and Real Sociedad manager John Toshack was appointed on a part-time basis. However, Toshack resigned after just one match (a 3-1 defeat to Norway) citing problems with the FAW as his reason for leaving, although he was sure to have been shocked at being booed off the pitch at Ninian Park by the Welsh fans still reeling from the dismissal of Yorath.[8] Mike Smith took the manager role for the second time at the start of the Euro 1996 qualifiers, but Wales slipped to embarrassing defeats against Moldova and Georgia before Bobby Gould was appointed in June 1995.

Gould's time in charge of Wales is seen as a dark period by Welsh football fans. His questionable tactics and public fallings-out with players Nathan Blake,[9]Robbie Savage[10] and Mark Hughes,[] coupled with embarrassing defeats to club side Leyton Orient and a 7-1 thrashing by the Netherlands in 1996 did not make him a popular figure within Wales. Gould finally resigned following a 4-0 defeat to Italy in 1999, and the FAW turned to two legends of the national team, Neville Southall and Mark Hughes, to take temporary charge of the match against Denmark four days later, with Hughes later being appointed on a permanent basis.

2000s

Under Mark Hughes, Wales came close to qualifying for a place at Euro 2004 in Portugal, being narrowly defeated by Russia in the play-offs. However, the defeat was not without its controversy, as Russian midfielder Yegor Titov tested positive for the use of a banned substance after the first qualifying leg,[11] a scoreless draw in Moscow. Notwithstanding, FIFA opted not to take action against the Football Union of Russia other than instructing them not to field Titov again, and the Russian team went on to defeat Wales 1-0 in Cardiff to qualify for the final tournament.

Following a disappointing start to 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 6, Hughes left his role with the national team to take over as manager of English Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers. On 12 November 2004, John Toshack was appointed manager for the second time.

In Euro 2008 qualifying, Wales were drawn in Group D alongside Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino. The team's performance was disappointing, finishing fifth in the group with expected defeat at home to Germany yet an unexpected draw away, a loss away and a goalless draw at home to the Czech Republic, a loss away and 2-2 draw at home to the Republic of Ireland, a 3-0 home win and uninspiring 2-1 away win against minnows San Marino, a 3-1 home win and 3-1 away defeat against Cyprus, and a spectacularly mixed performance against Slovakia, losing 5-1 at home and winning 5-2 away. However, better performances towards the end of the competition by a team containing - of necessity because of injuries and suspensions of senior players - five players who were eligible for selection for the under-21 squad was viewed as a hopeful sign of future progress for the team.

In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 4, Wales made a promising start, winning 1-0 and 2-0 against Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein, respectively. However, they lost their next match against Russia in Moscow, 2-1, after Joe Ledley had briefly drawn them level. The qualifying campaign showed signs of promise when the team managed to prevent Germany from scoring for 74 minutes of their match in Mönchengladbach, although Wales ultimately lost 1-0. Two 2-0 home defeats by Finland and Germany in Spring 2009 effectively put paid to Wales' hopes of qualification.

Wales were drawn in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G with Montenegro, Bulgaria, Switzerland and close rivals England. Wales lost 1-0 away to Montenegro in their opening match and, on 9 September 2010, John Toshack stood down as manager after being disappointed at previous results in 2010 against Croatia and the opening Euro 2012 qualifier.[12]

Wales under-21 coach Brian Flynn took over from Toshack as caretaker manager with a view to a possible permanent appointment, but a 1-0 home defeat to Bulgaria and 4-1 away loss to Switzerland prompted the FAW to pass over Flynn.

2010s

The Wales team on 11 October 2011 ahead of their UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match against Bulgaria in Sofia

Gary Speed was appointed as permanent manager on 14 December 2010. Speed's first match as manager was 8 February 2011 in the inaugural Nations Cup, which the Republic of Ireland won 3-0.[13] Speed's first competitive match was the Euro 2012 qualifier at home to England on 26 March 2011, and Speed appointed 20-year-old Aaron Ramsey captain, making him the youngest Wales captain. Wales lost to England 2-0 and in August 2011 Wales attained their lowest FIFA ranking of 117th. This was followed by a 2-1 home win against Montenegro, a 1-0 away loss to England, a 2-0 home win against Switzerland and a 1-0 away win against Bulgaria. Consequently, in October 2011, Wales had rapidly risen to 45th in the FIFA rankings. A 4-1 home win in a friendly match against Norway on 12 November 2011 proved to be Speed's last match in charge of Wales. The match was a culmination of Speed's efforts which led Wales to receive the unofficial award for biggest mover of 2011 in the FIFA rankings.[14] His tenure as manager ended in tragic circumstances two weeks later when he was found dead at his home on 27 November, having apparently committed suicide.[15]

Due to London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, a Great Britain team would qualify as of right of being the host nation. However, the FAW stressed it was strongly against the proposal.[16] Despite this, Welsh players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale expressed their interest in representing the Great Britain Olympic football team.[17] Bale controversially withdrew due to injury,[18] but Ramsey was joined by four other Welshmen in Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad: Swansea City's Joe Allen and Neil Taylor, while Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Liverpool's Craig Bellamy were included as over-age players, with Giggs being made captain.[19]

Chris Coleman was appointed Wales team manager on 19 January 2012.[20] For 2014 World Cup qualification, Wales were drawn in Group A with Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland and Macedonia. They lost their first match 2-0, against Belgium. Their second match, against Serbia, was even worse, finishing 6-1, Wales's worst defeat since the 7-1 reversal to the Netherlands in 1996.[21] In October 2012, Ashley Williams was appointed captain of Wales by Coleman, replacing Aaron Ramsey.[22] Wales won at home against Scotland 2-1, lost away to Croatia 2-0 and won away against Scotland 2-1, but a 2-1 loss at home to Croatia ended Wales hopes of qualifying.[23]

Wales were placed in Group B for qualifying for Euro 2016 alongside Andorra, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Israel. In July 2015, following four wins and two draws, Wales topped the group.

In July 2015, having attained their then highest FIFA ranking of tenth,[24] Wales were placed among the top seeds for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification draw. Wales were drawn in Group D with Austria, Serbia, the Republic of Ireland, Moldova and Georgia.[25]

In September 2015, England dropped to tenth in the FIFA rankings, making Wales - in ninth position - the highest ranked British team for the first time in its history.[26] In October 2015, Wales attained their highest ever FIFA ranking of eighth. On 10 October 2015, Wales lost 2-0 to Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, Wales' qualification for Euro 2016 was confirmed after Cyprus defeated Israel that same evening.[27]

Euro 2016

Wales qualified for Euro 2016 in France, their first European Championship tournament, and were drawn into Group B with Slovakia, Russia and England. On their Euro debut, on 11 June against Slovakia at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Gareth Bale scored direct from a free-kick to give Wales a 1-0 lead, and Hal Robson-Kanu scored the winner in a 2-1 victory that put them top of the group.[28] In their second match, against England in Lens, Wales led 1-0 at half-time through another Bale free-kick, but lost 2-1.[29] Against Russia at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse, Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Bale scored in a 3-0 win that made them win the group.[30]

In their round of 16 match at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Wales played Northern Ireland and won 1-0 after Bale's cross was put in as an own goal by Gareth McAuley.[31] In the quarter-final against Belgium, Wales went behind to a long-range effort from Radja Nainggolan, but captain Ashley Williams headed an equaliser before Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes confirmed a 3-1 victory for Wales. This victory advanced Wales to their first major tournament semi-final and also made them the first British nation to advance to the semi-finals of a major tournament since England did so at Euro 1996 as hosts.[32]

The first half of the semi-final against Portugal in Lyon went goalless, but goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani early in the second half saw Portugal claim a 2-0 win.[33] Wales were welcomed back home on 8 July with an open-top bus parade around Cardiff, starting at Cardiff Castle and going past the Millennium Stadium before finishing at the Cardiff City Stadium.[34]

2016-present

In September 2016, Wales opened their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with a comfortable 4-0 home win against Moldova.[35] However, they followed this with a run of five consecutive draws away to Austria, at home to Georgia, both home and away against Serbia and away to the Republic of Ireland. That run came to an end with a 1-0 home victory over Austria on 2 September 2017, followed by a 2-0 away victory against Moldova on 5 September and a 1-0 away win over Georgia on 6 October. Wales finished third in their group due to a 1-0 loss to the Republic of Ireland on 9 October and failed to qualify for the finals in Russia. Chris Coleman resigned as Wales team manager on 17 November 2017 and was appointed team manager at Sunderland.[36]

After nearly two months of managerial vacancy, former Wales national player Ryan Giggs was named Wales' new manager. Giggs, who signed a four-year contract, led Wales for the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League campaign and Euro 2020 qualification.[37] Despite losing two of the first three qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2020, Wales went unbeaten in the second half of 2019 and ultimately qualified in second place following a 2-0 win over Hungary in their final match on 19 November.[38]

Euro 2020 was delayed until 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, which meant Wales' next games came in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League. They kept five consecutive clean sheets on the way to an unbeaten record in the competition, winning five games and drawing one, despite Giggs not being available for the last two games due to legal troubles.[39] With Rob Page in interim charge, the team beat Finland 3-1 in their final match to finish top of the group and gain promotion to League A for the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League.[40]

Home stadium

From 2000 to 2009, Wales played most of their home matches at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The stadium was built in 1999 on the site of the old National Stadium, known as Cardiff Arms Park, as the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Prior to 1989, Wales played their home games at the grounds of Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham, but then came to an agreement with the WRU to use Cardiff Arms Park and, subsequently, the Millennium Stadium.

Wales' first football match at the Millennium Stadium was against Finland on 29 March 2000. The Finns won the match 2-1, with Jari Litmanen becoming the first player to score a goal at the stadium. Ryan Giggs scored Wales' goal in the match, becoming the first Welshman to score at the stadium.

With the opening of the Cardiff City Stadium in 2009, the FAW chose to stage most home friendlies there, with other friendly matches played at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea and the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. Qualifying matches continued to be played at the 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium until the end of 2009, which was typically only around 20-40% full amid poor team results. This led to calls from fans and players for international matches to be held at smaller stadiums. For the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, the FAW decided Wales would play all of their home matches at either the Cardiff City Stadium or the Liberty Stadium, with the exception of the home tie against England, which was played at the Millennium Stadium. The 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign saw four home matches at the Cardiff City Stadium and one at the Liberty Stadium. Cardiff City Stadium's capacity was increased to 33,000 in 2014 and all home matches for Euro 2016 qualifying were scheduled at the stadium and Wales subsequently qualified for the finals tournament in France. All five home qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup were held at the stadium as well as both of the team's home 2018-19 UEFA Nations League games. All home games in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign also took place there. A friendly against Spain was played at the Millennium Stadium on 11 October 2018, which was Wales' first match at the stadium in just over seven-and-a-half years, finishing in a 4-1 defeat. On 20 March 2019, Wales played a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago at the Racecourse Ground, their first match there since 2008.

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the friendly match against the United States and the UEFA Nations League matches against Republic of Ireland and Finland between 12 and 18 November 2020.
Caps and goals updated as of 18 November 2020 after the match against Finland.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Danny Ward (1993-06-22) 22 June 1993 (age 27) 10 0 England Leicester City
1GK Owain Fôn Williams (1987-03-17) 17 March 1987 (age 33) 1 0 Scotland Dunfermline Athletic
1GK Tom King (1995-03-09) 9 March 1995 (age 25) 0 0 Wales Newport County

2DF Chris Gunter (1989-07-21) 21 July 1989 (age 31) 99 0 England Charlton Athletic
2DF Connor Roberts (1995-09-23) 23 September 1995 (age 25) 22 1 Wales Swansea City
2DF Ethan Ampadu (2000-09-14) 14 September 2000 (age 20) 20 0 England Sheffield United
2DF Chris Mepham (1997-11-05) 5 November 1997 (age 23) 14 0 England Bournemouth
2DF Tom Lockyer (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 (age 25) 13 0 England Luton Town
2DF Joe Rodon (1997-10-22) 22 October 1997 (age 23) 10 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
2DF James Lawrence (1992-08-22) 22 August 1992 (age 28) 7 0 Germany St. Pauli
2DF Neco Williams (2001-04-13) 13 April 2001 (age 19) 6 1 England Liverpool
2DF Rhys Norrington-Davies (1999-04-22) 22 April 1999 (age 21) 3 0 England Luton Town

3MF Jonny Williams (1993-10-09) 9 October 1993 (age 27) 25 1 England Charlton Athletic
3MF Harry Wilson (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 (age 23) 21 4 Wales Cardiff City
3MF Daniel James (1997-11-10) 10 November 1997 (age 23) 17 3 England Manchester United
3MF David Brooks (1997-07-08) 8 July 1997 (age 23) 16 2 England Bournemouth
3MF Matthew Smith (1999-11-22) 22 November 1999 (age 21) 12 0 England Doncaster Rovers
3MF Joe Morrell (1997-01-03) 3 January 1997 (age 23) 12 0 England Luton Town
3MF Josh Sheehan (1995-03-30) 30 March 1995 (age 25) 1 0 Wales Newport County

4FW Gareth Bale (captain) (1989-07-16) 16 July 1989 (age 31) 87 33 England Tottenham Hotspur
4FW Tom Lawrence (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 (age 26) 21 3 England Derby County
4FW Kieffer Moore (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 (age 28) 12 4 Wales Cardiff City
4FW Tyler Roberts (1999-01-12) 12 January 1999 (age 21) 11 0 England Leeds United

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Wayne Hennessey (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987 (age 33) 94 0 England Crystal Palace v.  Bulgaria, 14 October 2020
GK Adam Davies (1992-07-17) 17 July 1992 (age 28) 2 0 England Stoke City v.  Bulgaria, 14 October 2020

DF Ben Davies (1993-04-24) 24 April 1993 (age 27) 58 0 England Tottenham Hotspur v.  Republic of Ireland, 15 November 2020 SUS
DF Ben Cabango (2000-05-30) 30 May 2000 (age 20) 2 0 Wales Swansea City v.  United States, 12 November 2020 WD
DF Ashley Williams (1984-08-23) 23 August 1984 (age 36) 86 2 Unattached v.  Finland, 3 September 2020 WD

MF Brennan Johnson (2001-05-23) 23 May 2001 (age 19) 1 0 England Lincoln City v.  Republic of Ireland, 15 November 2020
MF Dylan Levitt (2000-11-17) 17 November 2000 (age 20) 5 0 England Charlton Athletic v.  United States, 12 November 2020
MF Aaron Ramsey (1990-12-26) 26 December 1990 (age 29) 61 16 Italy Juventus v.  United States, 12 November 2020 WD
MF Will Vaulks (1993-09-13) 13 September 1993 (age 27) 6 0 Wales Cardiff City v.  Bulgaria, 14 October 2020

FW Rabbi Matondo (2000-09-09) 9 September 2000 (age 20) 7 0 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Republic of Ireland, 15 November 2020
FW Ben Woodburn (1999-10-15) 15 October 1999 (age 21) 10 2 England Blackpool v.  Bulgaria, 14 October 2020
FW Hal Robson-Kanu (1989-05-21) 21 May 1989 (age 31) 45 5 England West Bromwich Albion v.  England, 8 October 2020 WD
Key
  • SUS = Suspended for next match
  • WD = Withdrew from the squad
  • PRE = Preliminary squad

Records

Most-capped players

As of 18 November 2020[41] (players still active in bold):
Chris Gunter has played a record 99 times for Wales since 2007.
# Name First/Latest Cap Caps Goals
1 Chris Gunter 2007- 99 0
2 Wayne Hennessey 2007- 94 0
3 Neville Southall 1982-1997 92 0
4 Gareth Bale 2006- 87 33
5 Ashley Williams 2007- 86 2
6 Gary Speed 1990-2004 85 7
7 Craig Bellamy 1998-2013 78 19
8 Joe Ledley 2007- 77 4
9 Dean Saunders 1986-2001 75 22
10 Peter Nicholas 1979-1991 73 2
Ian Rush 1980-1996 73 28

Players with 50 or more caps

Wales present a Golden Cap to players attaining 50 international caps.[42]

See: List of Wales international footballers.

Current players with 50 or more caps

Top goalscorers

As of 18 November 2020 (players still active in bold):
Gareth Bale is Wales' top goalscorer of all time
# Name Goals Matches Average
1 Gareth Bale (list) 33 87 0.38
2 Ian Rush (list) 28 73 0.38
3 Trevor Ford 23 38 0.61
Ivor Allchurch 23 68 0.34
5 Dean Saunders 22 75 0.29
6 Craig Bellamy 19 78 0.24
7 Robert Earnshaw 16 59 0.27
Cliff Jones 16 59 0.27
Mark Hughes 16 72 0.22
Aaron Ramsey 16 61 0.26

Notable former players

Welsh Sports Hall of Fame inductees
Welsh inductees to the English Football Hall of Fame
Welsh inductees to the Football League 100 Legends
Welsh winners of the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year
Welsh winners of the PFA Players' Player of the Year
Welsh Inductee to the PFA Team of the Year (Top Division)

Results and fixtures

  Win   Draw   Loss

2019

19 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifyingWales 2-0 HungaryCardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC±0
Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 31,762
Referee: Ovidiu Ha?egan (Romania)

2020

3 September 2020 UEFA Nations League BFinland 0-1 WalesHelsinki, Finland
21:45 EEST (19:45 BST) Report Moore Goal 80 Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
6 September 2020 UEFA Nations League BWales 1-0 BulgariaCardiff, Wales
15:00 BST (UTC+1) N. Williams Goal 90+4 Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Fábio Veríssimo (Portugal)
8 October 2020 FriendlyEngland 3-0 WalesLondon, England
19:45 BST (UTC+1)
Report Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland)
12 November 2020 FriendlyWales 0-0 United StatesSwansea, Wales
19:45 UTC Report Stadium: Liberty Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Nick Walsh (Scotland)
18 November 2020 UEFA Nations League BWales 3-1 FinlandCardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC
Report
Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)

2021

12 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020Wales v  SwitzerlandBaku, Azerbaijan
17:00 UTC+4 Stadium: Olympic Stadium
16 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020Turkey v WalesBaku, Azerbaijan
20:00 UTC+4 Stadium: Olympic Stadium
20 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020Italy v WalesRome, Italy
18:00 UTC+2 Stadium: Stadio Olimpico

Managers

Prior to 1954 the Welsh team was chosen by a panel of selectors with the team captain fulfilling the role of coach.

Name Career
Wales Wales Walley Barnes 1954-1955
Wales Jimmy Murphy 1956-1964
Wales Dave Bowen 1964-1974
Wales Ronnie Burgess 1965 (caretaker manager for one match due to unavailability of Dave Bowen)
England Mike Smith 1974-1979
Wales Mike England 1979-1987
Wales David Williams 1988 (caretaker manager for one match)
Wales Terry Yorath 1988-1993
Wales John Toshack 1994
England Mike Smith 1994-1995
England Bobby Gould 1995-1999
Wales Neville Southall 1999 (caretaker manager for one match)
Wales Mark Hughes 1999-2004
Wales John Toshack 2004-2010
Wales Brian Flynn 2010 (caretaker manager for two matches)
Wales Gary Speed 2010-2011
Wales Chris Coleman 2012-2017
Wales Ryan Giggs 2018-present
Wales Rob Page 2020 (caretaker manager for three matches due to unavailability of Ryan Giggs)

Backroom staff

Ryan Giggs was appointed manager in 2018
Position Name
Manager Ryan Giggs
Assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg
Assistant manager Rob Page
Head of performance Tony Strudwick
Goalkeeping coach Tony Roberts
Fitness coach Dr. Adam Owen
Medical officer Dr. Jon Houghton
Performance psychologist Dr. Ian Mitchell
Physiotherapists Sean Connelly, David Weeks
Masseurs David Rowe, Chris Senior, Paul Harris
Sports scientist Ronan Kavanagh
Equipment officers David Griffiths, Kevin McCusker
Performance analysts Esther Wills, James Turner

Records

Honours

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup record

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950 Did not qualify 3 0 1 2 1 6
Switzerland 1954 3 0 1 2 5 9
Sweden 1958 Quarter-finals 6th 5 1 3 1 4 4 6 4 0 2 10 5
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 2 3
England 1966 6 3 0 3 11 9
Mexico 1970 4 0 0 4 3 10
West Germany 1974 4 1 1 2 3 5
Argentina 1978 4 1 0 3 3 4
Spain 1982 8 4 2 2 12 7
Mexico 1986 6 3 1 2 7 6
Italy 1990 6 0 2 4 4 8
United States 1994 10 5 2 3 19 12
France 1998 8 2 1 5 20 21
South KoreaJapan 2002 10 1 6 3 10 12
Germany 2006 10 2 2 6 10 15
South Africa 2010 10 4 0 6 9 12
Brazil 2014 10 3 1 6 9 20
Russia 2018 10 4 5 1 13 6
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
CanadaMexicoUnited States 2026
Totals Quarter-finals 1/21 5 1 3 1 4 4 120 37 26 57 151 170

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Spain 1964 Did not qualify 1 0 0 1 2 4
Italy 1968 6 1 2 3 6 12
Belgium 1972 6 2 1 3 5 6
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 8 5 1 2 15 7
Italy 1980 6 3 0 3 11 8
France 1984 6 2 3 1 7 6
West Germany 1988 6 2 2 2 7 5
Sweden 1992 6 4 1 1 8 6
England 1996 10 2 2 6 9 19
BelgiumNetherlands 2000 8 3 0 5 7 16
Portugal 2004 10 4 2 4 13 11
AustriaSwitzerland 2008 12 4 3 5 18 19
PolandUkraine 2012 8 3 0 5 6 10
France 2016 Semi-finals 3rd/24 6 4 0 2 10 6 10 6 3 1 11 4
Europe 2020 Qualified 8 4 2 2 10 6
Germany 2024 To be determined
Total Semi-finals 1/15 6 4 0 2 10 6 109 45 20 44 134 139

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Year Division Group Round Pld W D L GF GA P/R Rank
2018-19 B 4 Group stage 4 2 0 2 6 5 Same position 19th
2020-21 B 4 Group stage 6 5 1 0 7 1 Rise 17th
2022-23 A To be determined
Total Group stage
League B
10 7 1 2 13 6 17th

Team image

Media coverage

Live television broadcast rights are held by S4C (Welsh language commentary) and Sky Sports (English language commentary) until 2022.

The primary kit has long been all-red. The crest of the Football Association of Wales features a Welsh Dragon on a white shield surrounded by 11 daffodils on a green background, and, since 1951, the Welsh-language motto Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae ("The best play is team play").[43]

Kit supplier

Kit provider Period
Admiral 1976-1980
Adidas 1980-1987
Hummel 1987-1990
Umbro 1990-1996
Lotto 1996-2000
Kappa 2000-2008
Champion 2008-2010
Umbro 2010-2013
Adidas 2013-

References

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  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "Wales one behind Brazil in Fifa rankings; Northern Ireland 35th". BBC Sport. 1 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Forget Denmark '92 and Greece '04, Wales can eclipse both Euro fairytales". Eurosport UK. 4 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Foundation of Wales National Team". Archived from the original on 18 October 2006.
  6. ^ "World Cup 1958 Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Bevan, Chris (17 November 2013). "Paul Bodin on when Wales were a spot-kick away from the World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Hughes, Dewi (12 November 2004). "Time for Toshack to deliver". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 2004.
  9. ^ "An Englishman over the border". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
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  11. ^ "Wales consider Euro 2004 appeal". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 January 2004. Retrieved 2004.
  12. ^ "John Toshack stands down as Wales boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  13. ^ "Republic of Ireland 3-0 Wales". RTÉ Sport. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 8 February 2011. Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "Speed's Wales are FIFA's 2011 "Best Mover"". Reuters. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "The FAW regrets to announce the death of the national team manager Gary Speed". FAW. Football Association of Wales. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 2011.
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  17. ^ "Ramsey wants Olympic role". Sky Sports. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ Nabil Hassan. "BBC Sport - London 2012: Gareth Bale to miss Olympics with injury". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ "BBC Sport - London 2012: Tom Cleverley in Team GB football squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "Chris Coleman - New national team manager". FAW website. Football Association of Wales. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ "Serbia 6 - 1 Wales". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ "BBC Sport - Aaron Ramsey replaced as Wales captain by Ashley Williams". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ "BBC Sport - Fifa rankings: Wales rise 15 places to highest level of 22nd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ "BBC Sport - Mark Hughes hails 'huge' Wales top seeding boost for World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ "BBC Sport - Fifa rankings: Wales enter world top 10 for first time". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
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  27. ^ "Bosnia 2 Wales 0". BBC Sport. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  28. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (11 June 2016). "Wales 2-1 Slovakia". Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ McNulty, Phil (16 June 2016). "England 2-1 Wales". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016.
  30. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (20 June 2016). "Russia 0 Wales 3". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016.
  31. ^ "Wales 1 Northern Ireland 0". BBC Sport. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  32. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (1 July 2016). "Wales 3-1 Belgium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016.
  33. ^ McNulty, Phil (6 July 2016). "Portugal 2-0 Wales". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ "Euro 2016: Wales players to get homecoming celebration". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 7 July 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (5 September 2016). "Wales 4-0 Moldova". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ "Chris Coleman leaves Wales role for Sunderland job". BBC Sport. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  37. ^ "Ryan Giggs: Manchester United legend named Wales manager". BBC Sport. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  38. ^ "Wales 2-0 Hungary: Aaron Ramsey double sends Wales to Euros". BBC Sport. 19 November 2019.
  39. ^ "Ryan Giggs denies assault allegations after arrest". BBC News. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  40. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (18 November 2020). "Robert Page and Ryan Giggs proud of Wales' Nations League promotion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ Alpuin, Luis Fernando Passo (20 February 2009). "Wales - Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2009.
  42. ^ Rob Phillips. "BBC Sport - Euro 2016: Who are Gareth Bale's rivals to be Wales' first centurion?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2015.
  43. ^ "The Message on our Chest". Football Association of Wales. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 2018.

Bibliography

External links


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