I didn’t exist the last time the Welsh football team competed in a major tournament. Indeed, esquires Neil and Buzz hadn’t even set foot on the moon when Wales last competed on the world stage at football. Wales’ last appearance was, in fact, at the 1958 World Cup, where they were knocked out of the championship in the quarter finals, by the boot of a young Pele and the ultimate 1958 World Cup champions, Brazil.
It has been a disappointing and frustrating period since then for Welsh football, which is probably why the nation has generally gravitated towards its national rugby team for international sporting glory, which has, over the past half century played a prominent role on the world sporting stage.
And so, the nation was, to put it mildly, increadibly excited to find itself qualifying for the European championship to be hosted by France in 2016.
And here we are. Summer 2016. The first match played, and the result was more than any of us could have imagined or ever thought possible. A decisive win over fellow debutants, Slovakia, with World legend Gareth Bale and team mate Robson-Kanu both scoring Wales’ goals. It is an interesting fact that Bale’s first international goal for Wales was against Slovakia back in 2006. Maybe it was meant to be.
Not only did Chris Coleman’s men manage to secure the coveted full 3 points, England’s draw with Russia has meant that Wales sits atop Group B’s table at the end of first weekend, putting them in pole position for progressing through the tournament.
Not a bad start at all for the Dragons. Not bad at all.
Next up a derby clash against ancient foes, England!