You might very well think of rugby when it comes to Wales and nothing moves the nation like rugby internationals; that was until 2016...
Over recent years the passion for Welsh international football has been renewed, with Wales reaching UEFA's EURO 2016 semi-finals, our first major championship since 1958 World Cup! It was a great adventure for Wales's team and fans alike and both proved popular during their time in France. With Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen both being named in UEFA's 'Team of the Tournament', Superstar Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes scoring memorable goals and their #together stronger ethos, we hope this is just the beginning as we look towards the 2020 Euro's. Welsh greats such as John Charles, Ivor Allchurch and Alf Sherwood made it to the 1958 World Cup quarter final against Pele’s Brazil; we narrowly lost 1-0 with the legendary Pele scoring the only goal.
Wales women are also nearing their best and have World Cup qualifying in their sights for the first time!
Our capital city Cardiff hosted the Champions League Final 2017. The men's final was played at Principality Stadium (pictured below) and the women's final was at Cardiff City Stadium, two finals, one city and what a great show Wales put on with the exceptional atmosphere created by the fans.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW), established in 1876 is the third oldest National Football Association in the world. The FAW govern the sport in Wales and oversees the Wales national team.
The long history of the game in Wales is illustrated by the fact that the first ever substitution in a football game took place during a Wales v Scotland game in 1889
Football is one of the most popular participation sports in Wales and there are opportunities for people to get involved, in local teams or even just for fun on the many local football pitches. The Welsh Football Trust develops the grassroots element of the game across Wales and nurtures our more talented players.
Wales is a Gold Standard Association under UEFA’s Grass Roots Charter in recognition of the scale and standard of programmes delivered. Wales was one of the first sixteen Associations to become full signatories of the UEFA Coaching convention to Pro Licence level. We are also the first nation to provide coach education online, attracting world class players to our courses, including the likes of Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly and Patrick Viera.
Professional football clubs traditionally play in the English league system and at different times Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County and Wrexham have all enjoyed degrees of success. We also have own Welsh Premier League which has been dominated by The New Saints in recent years.
Swansea City competes in the Premier League – the most watched league in the most popular sport in the world. If you're in Wales during football season then why not consider getting tickets to see one of our teams in action. Swanseas women's team won the women's Welsh league this year and have a shot at champions league qualification.
'Cardiff City was the only team to take the F.A. Cup out
of England, winning it in 1927!'
Wales has produced world renowned players such as Gary Speed, Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Neville Southall, Ryan Giggs, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale. In the summer of 2013 Gareth Bale, from Cardiff, broke transfer fee records when Real Madrid bought him from Tottenham Hotspur for an estimated €100 million. John Charles also broke the British transfer fee records when he transferred to Juventus in 1956.