Wales national football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

‹See Tfd›

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Dragons (Welsh: Y Dreigiau)
Association Football Association of Wales (FAW)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Ryan Giggs
Captain Ashley Williams
Most caps Neville Southall (92)
Top scorer Ian Rush (28)
Home stadium Cardiff City Stadium
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 20 Decrease 1 (15 February 2018)
Highest 8 (October 2015)
Lowest 117 (August 2011)
Elo ranking
Current 24 Steady (13 February 2018)
Highest 3 (1876–1885)
Lowest 88 (25 May 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
Appearances 1 (first in 1958)
Best result Quarter-finals, 1958
European Championship
Appearances 1 (first in 2016)
Best result Semi-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.

Although part of the United Kingdom, Wales has always had a representative side that plays in major professional tournaments, though not in the Olympic Games, as the IOC has always recognised United Kingdom representative sides.

During their history, Wales have qualified for two major international tournaments. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 after beating Belgium in the quarter-finals. This was, therefore, the first time that Wales had reached the semi-final of a major tournament. Wales also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-final, which was played on a home and away leg basis but they did not feature in the finals tournament.

At all levels including the youth teams the Welsh national team draws players primarily from clubs in the English football league system. The main professional Welsh clubs play in the English leagues, with some full-time and part-time professional clubs playing in the Welsh football league system.


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 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.[1] 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 1906, 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 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. A year later, Wales played a match outside the United Kingdom for the first time when they travelled to Paris to take on France in a match which was 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 FIFA World Cup 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, whilst 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 they 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.[2]

Having beaten 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 and, so far, only 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.


Wales had never qualified for the finals tournament of the European Championships since its inception in 1960. However, in 1976 the team managed by Mike Smith reached the last eight of the competition, having finished top of qualifying group 2 ahead of Hungary, Austria and Luxembourg. Prior to 1980 only four countries qualified for the finals tournament and Wales were drawn to play against the winners of group 3 Yugoslavia on a home and away basis match. Wales lost the first leg 2–0 in Zagreb and were knocked out of the competition having only managed a 1–1 draw in a bad-tempered return leg at Ninian Park, Cardiff which was marred by crowd trouble. This led to Wales initially being banned from the 1980 tournament, subsequently reduced on appeal to a ban on qualifying games being played within 100 miles of Cardiff for four years. Yugoslavia went on to finish 3rd in the 1980 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 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, Wrexham. Goals from Mickey Thomas, Ian Walsh, Leighton James and an own goal by Phil Thompson saw Wales beat England 4–1 just four days after England had beaten the then-world champions, Argentina.


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 USSR in their final game meant they missed out on goal difference, but the real damage had been done by their failure to beat Iceland in their last home game, 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 game 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 beating Scotland 1–0 at Hampden Park, it was again Iceland that wrecked Welsh hopes by beating Wales 1–0 in Reykjavik 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 game.


Under Terry Yorath Wales attained their highest FIFA ranking until then of 27th in August 1993. Wales came close, once again, to qualifying for a major championship when they came within a whisker of reaching the 1994 World Cup. Needing to win the final game 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.[3]

Following the failure to qualify Yorath's contract as manager of the national side was not renewed by the FAW and John Toshack, then manager of Real Sociedad, was appointed as a part-time manager. However, Toshack resigned after just one game – 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.[4] Mike Smith took the Wales manager role for the second time at the start of the Euro 96 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,[5] Robbie Savage[6] and Mark Hughes[citation needed], 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 game against Denmark four days later, with Hughes later being appointed on a permanent basis.


Under Mark Hughes, Wales came close to qualifying for a place at UEFA Euro 2004 in Portugal, being narrowly defeated by Russia in the play-offs. The defeat, however, was not without its controversy as Russian midfield player, Yegor Titov, tested positive for the use of a banned substance after the first qualifying leg,[7] a scoreless draw in Moscow. However, the sport's governing body decided to take no action against the Football Union of Russia other than instructing them not to play Titov again, and the Russian team went on to beat Wales in Cardiff 1–0 to qualify for UEFA Euro 2004.

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 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Wales were drawn in Group D alongside Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, 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, no fewer than 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 game 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, but the match eventually finished 1–0 to Germany. 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 game and, on 9 September 2010, John Toshack stood down as manager after being disappointed at previous results in 2010 against Croatia and the opening UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier.[8]

The 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 meant that the FAW passed over Flynn.


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 game as Wales manager was 8 February 2011 in the inaugural Nations Cup, which the Republic of Ireland won 3–0.[9] Speed's first competitive match was the Euro 2012 qualifier at home to England 26 March 2011 and Speed appointed twenty-year-old Aaron Ramsey captain, making Ramsey the youngest Wales captain. Wales lost to England 2–0 and in August 2011 Wales attained their lowest ever FIFA world 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 versus 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] Despite this, Welsh players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale expressed their interest in representing the Great Britain Olympic football team.[13] Bale was ultimately omitted due to injury,[14] but Ramsey was joined by four other Welshmen in Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad; Swansea City's Joe Allen and Neil Taylor. Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Liverpool's Craig Bellamy were also included as over-age players, with Giggs being made captain.[15]

Chris Coleman was appointed Wales team manager on 19 January 2012.[16] For 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Wales were drawn in Group A with Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland and Macedonia. They lost their first game 2–0, against Belgium. Their second game, against Serbia, was even worse – finishing 6–1 – Wales's worst defeat since the 7–1 reversal to the Netherlands in 1996.[17] In October 2012, Ashley Williams was appointed captain of Wales by Coleman, replacing Aaron Ramsey.[18] 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.[19]

Wales were placed in Group B for qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament 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 10th,[20] Wales were placed among the top seeds for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification draw. Wales were drawn in Group D with Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova and Georgia.[21]

In September 2015, England dropped to 10th in the FIFA rankings making Wales in ninth the highest ranked British team for the first time in history.[22] In October 2015, Wales attained their highest ever FIFA ranking of 8th. On 10 October 2015, Wales lost 2–0 to Bosnia and Herzegovina but on the same evening Wales' qualification for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament was confirmed after Cyprus beat Israel.[23]

The Wales team went on an open-top bus tour of Cardiff on their return from Euro 2016.

Wales had qualified for UEFA 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.[24] In their second game, against England in Lens, Wales led 1–0 at halftime through another Bale free-kick, but lost 2–1.[25] Against Russia at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse, Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Bale scored in a 3–0 win that made them win the group.[26]

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.[27] In the quarter-final against Belgium, Wales, the last remaining British team, 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.[28]

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.[29] Wales were welcomed back to Wales 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.[30]

In September 2016, Wales opened their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with a comfortable 4–0 home win against Moldova.[31] 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 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Chris Coleman resigned as Wales team manager on 17 November 2017 and was appointed team manager at Sunderland.[32]


During the period 2000–2010, 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 ties 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 World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign saw four home games 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 qualification (UEFA) were held at the stadium.


Current squad

The following 23 players were called up for the friendly matches against France and Panama on 10 November and 14 November 2017. Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, Emyr Huws and Jonathan Williams withdrew due to injury, and were replaced by Tom Bradshaw, Lloyd Isgrove, Lee Evans and Ryan Hedges.[33] Aaron Ramsey withdrew from the squad after the match against France and was replaced by Andrew Crofts[34]
Caps and goals updated as November 14, 2017 after the match against Panama.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Wayne Hennessey (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987 (age 31) 73 0 England Crystal Palace
21 1GK Danny Ward (1993-06-22) 22 June 1993 (age 24) 4 0 England Liverpool
12 1GK Chris Maxwell (1990-07-30) 30 July 1990 (age 27) 0 0 England Preston North End

2 2DF Chris Gunter (1989-07-21) 21 July 1989 (age 28) 85 0 England Reading
6 2DF Ashley Williams (Captain) (1984-08-23) 23 August 1984 (age 33) 76 2 England Everton
3 2DF Neil Taylor (1989-02-07) 7 February 1989 (age 29) 41 1 England Aston Villa
4 2DF Ben Davies (1993-04-24) 24 April 1993 (age 24) 36 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
5 2DF James Chester (1989-01-23) 23 January 1989 (age 29) 29 0 England Aston Villa
15 2DF Ethan Ampadu (2000-09-14) 14 September 2000 (age 17) 2 0 England Chelsea
17 2DF Tom Lockyer (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 (age 23) 1 0 England Bristol Rovers

16 3MF Joe Ledley (1987-01-23) 23 January 1987 (age 31) 76 4 England Derby County
8 3MF Andy King (1988-10-29) 29 October 1988 (age 29) 44 2 England Leicester City
14 3MF David Edwards (1986-02-03) 3 February 1986 (age 32) 43 3 England Reading
7 3MF Joe Allen (1990-03-14) 14 March 1990 (age 27) 40 2 England Stoke City
10 3MF Andrew Crofts (1984-05-29) 29 May 1984 (age 33) 29 0 England Scunthorpe United
18 3MF David Brooks (1997-07-08) 8 July 1997 (age 20) 2 0 England Sheffield United
13 3MF Lee Evans (1994-07-24) 24 July 1994 (age 23) 1 0 England Wigan Athletic
23 3MF Ryan Hedges (1995-07-08) 8 July 1995 (age 22) 1 0 England Barnsley
20 3MF Marley Watkins (1990-10-17) 17 October 1990 (age 27) 1 0 England Norwich City

9 4FW Sam Vokes (1989-10-21) 21 October 1989 (age 28) 56 8 England Burnley
11 4FW Tom Lawrence (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 (age 24) 12 2 England Derby County
22 4FW Ben Woodburn (1999-10-15) 15 October 1999 (age 18) 6 1 England Liverpool
19 4FW Tom Bradshaw (1992-07-27) 27 July 1992 (age 25) 2 0 England Barnsley

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the Wales squad in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Adam Davies (1992-07-17) 17 July 1992 (age 25) 0 0 England Barnsley v.  Moldova, 5 September 2017
GK Owain Fôn Williams (1987-03-17) 17 March 1987 (age 30) 1 0 Scotland Inverness Caledonian Thistle v.  Serbia, 11 June 2017

DF Jazz Richards (1991-04-12) 12 April 1991 (age 26) 13 0 Wales Cardiff City v.  Moldova, 5 September 2017
DF James Collins RET (1983-08-23) 23 August 1983 (age 34) 50 3 England West Ham United v.  Austria, 2 September 2017
DF Gethin Jones (1995-10-13) 13 October 1995 (age 22) 0 0 England Everton v.  Serbia, 11 June 2017
DF Joe Walsh (1992-05-13) 13 May 1992 (age 25) 0 0 England Milton Keynes Dons v.  Serbia, 11 June 2017
DF Declan John (1995-06-30) 30 June 1995 (age 22) 2 0 Scotland Rangers v.  Serbia, 11 June 2017 PRE

MF Aaron Ramsey (1990-12-26) 26 December 1990 (age 27) 52 13 England Arsenal v.  France, 10 November 2017
MF Jonathan Williams (1993-10-09) 9 October 1993 (age 24) 18 0 England Sunderland v.  France, 10 November 2017 WD
MF Emyr Huws (1993-09-30) 30 September 1993 (age 24) 11 1 England Ipswich Town v.  France, 10 November 2017 WD
MF Lloyd Isgrove (1993-01-12) 12 January 1993 (age 25) 1 0 England Barnsley v.  France, 10 November 2017 WD
MF Harry Wilson (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 (age 20) 1 0 England Liverpool v.  Serbia, 11 June 2017
MF Shaun MacDonald (1988-06-17) 17 June 1988 (age 29) 4 0 England Wigan Athletic v.  Republic of Ireland, 24 March 2017

FW Gareth Bale (1989-07-16) 16 July 1989 (age 28) 68 26 Spain Real Madrid v.  France, 10 November 2017 WD
FW Hal Robson-Kanu (1989-05-21) 21 May 1989 (age 28) 44 5 England West Bromwich Albion v.  France, 10 November 2017 WD
FW Daniel James (1997-11-10) 10 November 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Wales Swansea City v.  Serbia, 11 June 2017

RET = Retired
WD = Withdrew
PRE = Preliminary

Most-capped players

As of 14 November 2017[35] (players still active in bold):
Neville Southall played a record 92 times for Wales between 1982 and 1997.
# Name First/Latest Cap Caps Goals
1 Neville Southall 1982–1997 92 0
2 Chris Gunter 2007– 85 0
Gary Speed 1990–2004 85 7
4 Craig Bellamy 1998–2013 78 19
5 Joe Ledley 2007– 76 4
Ashley Williams 2007– 76 2
7 Dean Saunders 1986–2001 75 22
8 Peter Nicholas 1979–1991 73 2
Ian Rush 1980–1996 73 28
Wayne Hennessey 2007– 73 0

Players with 50 or more caps

Wales present a Golden Cap to players attaining 50 international caps.[36]

See: List of Wales international footballers with 50 or more caps.

Current players with 50 or more caps

Top goalscorers

As of 14 November 2017 (players still active in bold):
Ian Rush scored a record 28 goals for Wales in 73 games between 1980 and 1996.
# Name Goals Caps Average
1 Ian Rush (list) 28 73 0.38
2 Gareth Bale 26 68 0.39
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 58 0.28
Cliff Jones 16 59 0.27
Mark Hughes 16 72 0.22
10 John Charles 15 38 0.39

Notable former players

See Wales international footballers for all Welsh internationals with a Wikipedia article and List of Wales international footballers for a list of Welsh internationals in sortable table format.
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)

Team image

Media coverage

Live television broadcast rights are held by S4C (Welsh language commentary) and Sky Sports (English language commentary) for qualifiers, and BBC Sport for friendlies.

The primary kit has long been all-red. The crest of the FAW features a red dragon on a white shield surrounded by eleven leeks on a green background, and, since 1951, the Welsh-language motto Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae ("The best play is team play.").[37]

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–


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 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

Backroom staff

Position Name
Manager Ryan Giggs
Assistant Manager Osian Roberts
Head of Performance Ryland Morgans
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 McCuske
Performance Analysts Esther Wills, James Turner


Tournament history

FIFA World Cup record

Year Round Position GP W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950 Did not qualify
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958 Quarter-finals 6th 5 1 3 1 4 4
Chile 1962 Did not qualify
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974
Argentina 1978
Spain 1982
Mexico 1986
Italy 1990
United States 1994
France 1998
South KoreaJapan 2002
Germany 2006
South Africa 2010
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018
Qatar 2022 To Be Determined
Totals Quarter-finals 1/21 5 1 3 1 4 4

UEFA European Football Championship

Year Round Position GP W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did not enter
Spain 1964 Did not qualify
Italy 1968
Belgium 1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976
Italy 1980
France 1984
West Germany 1988
Sweden 1992
England 1996
BelgiumNetherlands 2000
Portugal 2004
AustriaSwitzerland 2008
PolandUkraine 2012
France 2016 Semi-finals 3rd 6 4 0 2 10 6
Europe 2020 To be determined
Totals Best: third place 1/15 6 4 0 2 10 6

British Home Championship


  1. ^ [1] Foundation of Wales National Team at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 October 2006)
  2. ^ "World Cup 1958 Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Hughes, Dewi (12 November 2004). "Time for Toshack to deliver". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2004. 
  5. ^ "BBC News – Football – An Englishman over the border". Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Wales reprieve for Savage". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 September 1998. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Wales consider Euro 2004 appeal". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 January 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2004. 
  8. ^ "John Toshack stands down as Wales boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "Speed's Wales are FIFA's 2011 "Best Mover"". Reuters. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "Wales oppose GB Olympic football". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2005. 
  13. ^ Draper, Rob (26 December 2010). "Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale move closer to Olympic contention with Great Britain team". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  14. ^ Nabil Hassan. "BBC Sport – London 2012: Gareth Bale to miss Olympics with injury". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  15. ^ "BBC Sport – London 2012: Tom Cleverley in Team GB football squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Chris Coleman – New national team manager". FAW website. Football Association of Wales. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Serbia 6 – 1 Wales". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "BBC Sport – Aaron Ramsey replaced as Wales captain by Ashley Williams". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "BBC Sport – Fifa rankings: Wales rise 15 places to highest level of 22nd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "BBC Sport – Mark Hughes hails 'huge' Wales top seeding boost for World Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "BBC Sport – Fifa rankings: Wales enter world top 10 for first time". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales above England in Fifa rankings". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 3 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "Bosnia 2 Wales 0". BBC Sport. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  24. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (11 June 2016). "Wales 2–1 Slovakia". Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  25. ^ McNulty, Phil (16 June 2016). "England 2–1 Wales". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  26. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (20 June 2016). "Russia 0 Wales 3". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Wales 1 Northern Ireland 0". BBC Sport. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  28. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (1 July 2016). "Wales 3–1 Belgium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  29. ^ McNulty, Phil (6 July 2016). "Portugal 2–0 Wales". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  30. ^ "Euro 2016: Wales players to get homecoming celebration". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 7 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  31. ^ "Wales 4–0 Moldova". 5 September 2016 – via 
  32. ^ Coleman resigns
  34. ^ Ramsey withdraws
  35. ^ Alpuin, Luis Fernando Passo (20 February 2009). "Wales – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  36. ^ Rob Phillips. "BBC Sport – Euro 2016: Who are Gareth Bale's rivals to be Wales' first centurion?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  37. ^ "THE MESSAGE ON OUR CHEST". Football Association of Wales. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 


External links

  • Football Association of Wales
  • Football Association of Wales Trust
  • International results of Wales
  • Welsh Football Online
  • Welsh Football Data Archive
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