It’s laborious to consider it’s been 5 years since Wales’ unbelievable run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Chris Coleman’s aspect, which contained the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, appeared like they have been on the cusp of one thing unthinkable earlier than they have been unbeaten by eventual winners Portugal.
However the journey the Crimson Dragons launched into 5 summers in the past was nonetheless fairly outstanding, with the squad getting back from the match nationwide heroes who wrote themselves into Welsh folklore.
It will be tough to pick a stand-out second, although it will be laborious to not give that to Hal Robson-Kanu. Footage of the striker’s sensational Johan Cruyff-esque flip and aim in opposition to Belgium within the final eight remains to be performed in every single place.
Lots has modified since then, with Robert Web page tasked with steering Wales by way of the match owing to Ryan Giggs’ ongoing court docket case.
Bale and Ramsey would in all probability each agree that they headed into the aforementioned competitors in a greater state bodily and mentally to the place they’re at the moment.
Juventus midfielder Ramsey has been blighted by accidents, taking part in in solely 19 of Wales’ 44 video games since Euro 2016.
In the meantime, Actual Madrid outcast Bale struggled for normal first-team soccer throughout his mortgage stint at Tottenham final season – though he did notch up 11 Premier League targets.
Ramsey is utilizing his personal private health staff to be able to guarantee he’s prepared for Wales’ Euro 2020 marketing campaign, whereas query marks nonetheless hold over Bale’s home future.
In the end, the pair are nonetheless greater than able to working on the highest degree and may play their half in serving to Wales to the knockout stage as soon as extra.
Italy will undoubtedly be the favourites to prime Group A, and one suspects Switzerland will probably be Wales’ rivals for second place, though Turkey can’t be utterly discredited.
With that mentioned Wales have greater than sufficient to advance previous a tough trying group to the final 16.
Ought to Web page’s males end second Denmark could be their most certainly opponents, and whereas they may nonetheless qualify as one of many best-performing third-placed sides they’d undoubtedly need to keep away from that in any respect potential prices.
If that state of affairs arose then they may play Belgium in Seville, or considered one of France, Germany or Portugal in Bucharest. A reasonably formidable quartet – let’s be sincere.
The aforementioned duo have each warned the youthful gamers within the squad that the environment will probably be totally different with out their ‘crimson wall’ of followers – and so they have a sound level.
The ‘Collectively Stronger’ motto grew to become a legendary a part of Wales’ success at Euro 2016, with the message additionally posted across the staff’s present resort.
Don’t rule out the Welsh springing a shock or two at this match – they’ve historical past for that type of factor in any case.
And what an ideal time it will be for Bale and Ramsey to silence their critics – as soon as and for all.
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