Wales national football team

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.

Wales
Nickname(s)The Dragons (Welsh: Y Dreigiau)
AssociationFootball Association of Wales (FAW)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRyan Giggs
Rob Page (caretaker)[lower-alpha 1]
CaptainGareth Bale
Most capsChris Gunter (100)
Top scorerGareth Bale (33)
Home stadiumCardiff City Stadium
FIFA codeWAL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 17 (27 May 2021)[3]
Highest8 (October 2015)
Lowest117 (August 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 team recorded the biggest rise in the history of the FIFA World Rankings, moving from 117th in 2011 to 8th place in 2015.[4] 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.[5]

In addition to reaching the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016, Wales reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and 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.

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.[6] 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 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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,[10] Robbie Savage[11] 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,[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] Despite this, Welsh players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale expressed their interest in representing the Great Britain Olympic football team.[18] Bale controversially withdrew due to injury,[19] 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.[20]

Chris Coleman was appointed Wales team manager on 19 January 2012.[21] 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.[22] In October 2012, Ashley Williams was appointed captain of Wales by Coleman, replacing Aaron Ramsey.[23] 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.[24]

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,[25] 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.[26]

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.[27] 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.[28]

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.[29] In their second match, against England in Lens, Wales led 1–0 at half-time through another Bale free-kick, but lost 2–1.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33]

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.[34] 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.[35]

2016–present

In September 2016, Wales opened their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with a comfortable 4–0 home win against Moldova.[36] 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.[37]

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.[38] 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.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41]

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 rampant Welsh Dragon on a white shield. From 1920, the shield was surrounded by a red border, and the letters 'FAW' were added in 1926. The badge was redesigned in 1951, adding a green border with 11 daffodils, as well as the Welsh-language motto Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae ("The best play is team play"). The motto was briefly removed in 1984, but the badge stayed largely the same until 2010, when the shield was changed to feature rounded sides and the motto banner was changed from white to red and green. The dragon also changed from rampant to rampant regardant. The motto was removed again in 2019, following another major redesign of the badge, which saw the top of the shield flattened and the sides changed not to curve outwards; the green border was also thinned and the daffodils removed.[42]

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–

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.

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Liberty Stadium, Swansea


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 friendlies against France and Albania on 2 and 5 June 2021 and the Euro 2020 tournament.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Wayne Hennessey (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987 95 0 Crystal Palace
12 1GK Danny Ward (1993-06-22) 22 June 1993 12 0 Leicester City
21 1GK Adam Davies (1992-07-17) 17 July 1992 2 0 Stoke City

2 2DF Chris Gunter (1989-07-21) 21 July 1989 100 0 Charlton Athletic
4 2DF Ben Davies (1993-04-24) 24 April 1993 58 0 Tottenham Hotspur
14 2DF Connor Roberts (1995-09-23) 23 September 1995 25 1 Swansea City
22 2DF Chris Mepham (1997-11-05) 5 November 1997 16 0 Bournemouth
5 2DF Tom Lockyer (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 13 0 Luton Town
6 2DF Joe Rodon (1997-10-22) 22 October 1997 12 0 Tottenham Hotspur
3 2DF Neco Williams (2001-04-13) 13 April 2001 9 1 Liverpool
17 2DF Rhys Norrington-Davies (1999-04-22) 22 April 1999 4 0 Sheffield United
2DF Ben Cabango (2000-05-30) 30 May 2000 3 0 Swansea City

10 3MF Aaron Ramsey (1990-12-26) 26 December 1990 61 16 Juventus
7 3MF Joe Allen (1990-03-14) 14 March 1990 57 2 Stoke City
8 3MF Jonny Williams (1993-10-09) 9 October 1993 27 1 Cardiff City
18 3MF Harry Wilson (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 24 5 Liverpool
15 3MF Ethan Ampadu (2000-09-14) 14 September 2000 22 0 Chelsea
20 3MF Daniel James (1997-11-10) 10 November 1997 19 4 Manchester United
19 3MF David Brooks (1997-07-08) 8 July 1997 16 2 Bournemouth
16 3MF Joe Morrell (1997-01-03) 3 January 1997 14 0 Luton Town
23 3MF Matthew Smith (1999-11-22) 22 November 1999 13 0 Manchester City
3MF Dylan Levitt (2000-11-17) 17 November 2000 6 0 Manchester United
3MF Rubin Colwill (2002-04-27) 27 April 2002 0 0 Cardiff City

11 4FW Gareth Bale (captain) (1989-07-16) 16 July 1989 90 33 Real Madrid
13 4FW Kieffer Moore (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 15 5 Cardiff City
9 4FW Tyler Roberts (1999-01-12) 12 January 1999 13 0 Leeds United

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Tom King (1995-03-09) 9 March 1995 0 0 Newport County v.  Czech Republic, 30 March 2021 PRE
GK Owain Fôn Williams (1987-03-17) 17 March 1987 1 0 Dunfermline Athletic v.  Finland, 18 November 2020

DF James Lawrence (1992-08-22) 22 August 1992 9 0 St. Pauli v.  France, 2 June 2021 INJ
DF Brandon Cooper (2000-01-14) 14 January 2000 0 0 Swansea City v.  Czech Republic, 30 March 2021 PRE

MF Josh Sheehan (1995-03-30) 30 March 1995 2 0 Newport County v.  Czech Republic, 30 March 2021 PRE
MF Will Vaulks (1993-09-13) 13 September 1993 6 0 Cardiff City v.  Bulgaria, 14 October 2020

FW Tom Lawrence (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 23 3 Derby County v.  France, 2 June 2021 PRE
FW Rabbi Matondo (2000-09-09) 9 September 2000 8 0 Schalke 04 v.  France, 2 June 2021 PRE
FW George Thomas (1997-03-24) 24 March 1997 3 0 Queens Park Rangers v.  France, 2 June 2021 PRE
FW Mark Harris (1998-12-29) 29 December 1998 0 0 Cardiff City v.  France, 2 June 2021 PRE
FW Hal Robson-Kanu (1989-05-21) 21 May 1989 46 5 West Bromwich Albion v.  Czech Republic, 30 March 2021 WD
FW Brennan Johnson (2001-05-23) 23 May 2001 2 0 Lincoln City v.  Czech Republic, 30 March 2021 WD
FW Ben Woodburn (1999-10-15) 15 October 1999 10 2 Liverpool v.  Bulgaria, 14 October 2020

INJ Withdrew due to injury
WD Withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue
SUS Serving suspension
RET Retired from the national team
PRE Preliminary squad / standby

Player records

As of 30 March 2021[43]
Players in bold are still active with Wales.

Most appearances

Chris Gunter has played a record 100 matches for Wales since 2007
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Chris Gunter 100 0 2007–present
2 Wayne Hennessey 95 0 2007–present
3 Neville Southall 92 0 1982–1997
4 Gareth Bale 90 33 2006–present
5 Ashley Williams 86 2 2008–2019
6 Gary Speed 85 7 1990–2004
7 Craig Bellamy 78 19 1998–2013
8 Joe Ledley 77 4 2005–2018
9 Dean Saunders 75 22 1986–2001
10 Peter Nicholas 73 2 1979–1991
Ian Rush 73 28 1980–1996

Most goals

Gareth Bale is Wales' top goalscorer of all time.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Gareth Bale (list) 33 90 0.37 2006–present
2 Ian Rush (list) 28 73 0.38 1980–1996
3 Trevor Ford 23 38 0.61 1947–1957
Ivor Allchurch 23 68 0.34 1951–1966
5 Dean Saunders 22 75 0.29 1986–2001
6 Craig Bellamy 19 78 0.24 1998–2013
7 Robert Earnshaw 16 59 0.27 2002–2011
Cliff Jones 16 59 0.27 1954–1970
Aaron Ramsey 16 61 0.26 2008–present
Mark Hughes 16 72 0.22 1984–1999

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

2020

3 September 2020 UEFA Nations League B Finland  0–1  Wales Helsinki, Finland
21:45 EEST (19:45 BST) Report Moore  80' Stadium: Helsinki Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
6 September 2020 UEFA Nations League B Wales  1–0  Bulgaria Cardiff, Wales
15:00 BST (UTC+1) N. Williams  90+4' Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Fábio Veríssimo (Portugal)
8 October 2020 Friendly England  3–0  Wales London, England
19:45 BST (UTC+1)
  • Calvert-Lewin  26'
  • Coady  53'
  • Ings  63'
Report Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland)
11 October 2020 UEFA Nations League B Republic of Ireland  0–0  Wales Dublin, Republic of Ireland
15:00 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Aviva Stadium
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece)
14 October 2020 UEFA Nations League B Bulgaria  0–1  Wales Sofia, Bulgaria
20:45 UTC+3 Report
  • J. Williams  85'
Stadium: Vasil Levski National Stadium
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan)
12 November 2020 Friendly Wales  0–0  United States Swansea, Wales
19:45 UTC Report Stadium: Liberty Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Nick Walsh (Scotland)
15 November 2020 UEFA Nations League B Wales  1–0  Republic of Ireland Cardiff, Wales
17:00 UTC
  • Brooks  67'
Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Petr Ardeleánu (Czech Republic)
18 November 2020 UEFA Nations League B Wales  3–1  Finland Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC
  • Wilson  29'
  • James  46'
  • Moore  84'
Report
  • Pukki  63'
Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)

2021

24 March 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Belgium  3–1  Wales Leuven, Belgium
20:45 UTC+1
Report
  • Harry Wilson  10'
Stadium: Den Dreef
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
27 March 2021 Friendly Wales  1–0  Mexico Cardiff, Wales
20:00 UTC Moore  11' Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ian McNabb (Northern Ireland)
30 March 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Wales  1–0  Czech Republic Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1
  • James  82'
Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan (Romania)
2 June 2021 Friendly France  v  Wales Nice, France
21:00 UTC+2 Stadium: Allianz Riviera
5 June 2021 Friendly Wales  v  Albania Cardiff, Wales
17:00 UTC+1 Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
12 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 Wales  v   Switzerland Baku, Azerbaijan
17:00 UTC+4 Stadium: Olympic Stadium
16 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 Turkey  v  Wales Baku, Azerbaijan
20:00 UTC+4 Stadium: Olympic Stadium
20 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 Italy  v  Wales Rome, Italy
18:00 UTC+2 Stadium: Stadio Olimpico
5 September 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Belarus  v  Wales Minsk, Belarus
15:00 UTC+3
8 September 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Wales  v  Estonia Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1 Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
8 October 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Czech Republic  v  Wales Plzeň, Czech Republic
19:45 UTC+1
11 October 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Estonia  v  Wales
20:45 UTC+3
13 November 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Wales  v  Belarus Cardiff, Wales
20:45 UTC+3 Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
16 November 2021 2022 World Cup qualifiers Wales  v  Belgium Cardiff, Wales
20:45 UTC+0 Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium

Current coaching staff

Ryan Giggs was appointed manager in 2018
PositionName
ManagerRyan Giggs
Assistant managerAlbert Stuivenberg
Assistant managerRob Page
Head of performanceTony Strudwick
Goalkeeping coachTony Roberts
Fitness coachDr. Adam Owen
Medical officerDr. Jon Houghton
Performance psychologistDr. Ian Mitchell
PhysiotherapistsSean Connelly, David Weeks
MasseursDavid Rowe, Chris Senior, Paul Harris
Sports scientistRonan Kavanagh
Equipment officersDavid Griffiths, Kevin McCusker
Performance analystsEsther Wills, James Turner

Coaching history

Caretaker managers are listed in italics.

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

Notes

  1. Page has acted as manager since 3 November 2020, after Giggs was arrested and subsequently charged with assault. Giggs remains the official manager.[1][2]

Honours

  • British Home Championship
    • Winners (12): 1906–07, 1919–20, 1923–24, 1927–28, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1938–39 (shared), 1951–52 (shared), 1955–56 (shared), 1959–60 (shared), 1969–70 (shared)
  • UEFA Nations League
    • League B: 2020

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
1934
1938
1950 Did not qualify 301216
1954 301259
1958 Quarter-finals6th 513144 6402105
1962 Did not qualify 201123
1966 6303119
1970 4004310
1974 411235
1978 410334
1982 8422127
1986 631276
1990 602448
1994 105231912
1998 82152021
2002 101631012
2006 102261015
2010 10406912
2014 10316920
2018 10451136
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
TotalsQuarter-finals1/21513144120372657151170

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1960Did not enterDid not enter
1964Did not qualify100124
19686123612
1972621356
19768512157
19806303118
1984623176
1988622275
1992641186
199610226919
20008305716
2004104241311
2008124351819
20128305610
2016Semi-finals3rd/24640210610631114
2020Qualified8422106
2024To be determinedTo be determined
TotalSemi-finals1/156402106109452044134139

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 19th
2020–21 B 4 Group stage 6 5 1 0 7 1 17th
2022–23 A To be determined
Total Group stage
League B
10 7 1 2 13 6 17th

References

  1. "Ryan Giggs: Wales manager will not take charge of November games". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  2. "FAW Statement". Football Association of Wales. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  3. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  4. "Wales one behind Brazil in Fifa rankings; Northern Ireland 35th". BBC Sport. 1 October 2015.
  5. "Forget Denmark '92 and Greece '04, Wales can eclipse both Euro fairytales". Eurosport UK. 4 July 2016.
  6. "Foundation of Wales National Team". Archived from the original on 18 October 2006.
  7. "World Cup 1958 Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  8. Bevan, Chris (17 November 2013). "Paul Bodin on when Wales were a spot-kick away from the World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  9. Hughes, Dewi (12 November 2004). "Time for Toshack to deliver". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2004.
  10. "An Englishman over the border". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  11. "Wales reprieve for Savage". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 September 1998. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  12. "Wales consider Euro 2004 appeal". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 January 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2004.
  13. "John Toshack stands down as Wales boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  14. "Republic of Ireland 3–0 Wales". RTÉ Sport. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 8 February 2011. Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  15. "Speed's Wales are FIFA's 2011 "Best Mover"". Reuters. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  16. "The FAW regrets to announce the death of the national team manager Gary Speed". FAW. Football Association of Wales. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  17. "Wales oppose GB Olympic football". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2005.
  18. "Ramsey wants Olympic role". Sky Sports. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  19. Nabil Hassan. "BBC Sport – London 2012: Gareth Bale to miss Olympics with injury". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  20. "BBC Sport – London 2012: Tom Cleverley in Team GB football squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  21. "Chris Coleman – New national team manager". FAW website. Football Association of Wales. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  22. "Serbia 6 – 1 Wales". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  23. "BBC Sport – Aaron Ramsey replaced as Wales captain by Ashley Williams". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  24. "BBC Sport – Fifa rankings: Wales rise 15 places to highest level of 22nd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  25. "BBC Sport – Mark Hughes hails 'huge' Wales top seeding boost for World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  26. "BBC Sport – Fifa rankings: Wales enter world top 10 for first time". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  27. "Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales above England in Fifa rankings". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 3 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  28. "Bosnia 2 Wales 0". BBC Sport. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  29. Pritchard, Dafydd (11 June 2016). "Wales 2–1 Slovakia". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  30. McNulty, Phil (16 June 2016). "England 2–1 Wales". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  31. Pritchard, Dafydd (20 June 2016). "Russia 0 Wales 3". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  32. "Wales 1 Northern Ireland 0". BBC Sport. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  33. Pritchard, Dafydd (1 July 2016). "Wales 3–1 Belgium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  34. McNulty, Phil (6 July 2016). "Portugal 2–0 Wales". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  35. "Euro 2016: Wales players to get homecoming celebration". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 7 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  36. Pritchard, Dafydd (5 September 2016). "Wales 4–0 Moldova". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  37. "Chris Coleman leaves Wales role for Sunderland job". BBC Sport. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  38. "Ryan Giggs: Manchester United legend named Wales manager". BBC Sport. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  39. "Wales 2-0 Hungary: Aaron Ramsey double sends Wales to Euros". BBC Sport. 19 November 2019.
  40. "Ryan Giggs denies assault allegations after arrest". BBC News. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  41. Pritchard, Dafydd (18 November 2020). "Robert Page and Ryan Giggs proud of Wales' Nations League promotion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  42. "A new identity for football in Wales". faw.cymru. Football Association of Wales. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  43. Alpuin, Luis Fernando Passo (20 February 2009). "Wales – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 10 March 2009.

Bibliography

  • Red Dragons: The Story of Welsh Football by Phil Stead (ISBN 9781784612368)
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