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Wales Euro 2016 tournament in review

Jon Wilde in Teams 7 Jul 2016
  • Wales enjoyed a fantastic Euro 2016 tournament campaign
  • We look back at their high points and ahead to Russia 2018
Gareth Bale of Wales celebrates a goal at Euro 2016 (credit: Getty Images)

Wales enjoyed a fantastic Euro 2016 campaign, with Chris Coleman’s side progressing further than the national team ever had before at a major tournament by reaching the semi-finals.

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Tournament in summary

The Dragons had only once previously contested the finals of a big international championship, getting to the last eight of the 1958 World Cup, but surpassed that achievement in France.

Having been surprise automatic qualifiers from their group along with Belgium, the Welsh began Euro 2016 with a 2-1 victory over Slovakia and after succumbing to a last-gasp England winner, they bounced back in a superb 3-0 win against Russia that ensured they finished top of their pool.

Star man Gareth Bale scored in all three of those matches but an own goal was responsible for beating Northern Ireland in the round of 16. However, the high point was yet to come as old foes Belgium were conquered 3-1 in the quarter-finals as Wales recovered from falling a goal behind.

That set up a semi-final against Portugal and although the men from the Principality came up short, losing 2-0, they could still go home feeling extremely proud of their accomplishments and knowing they had comfortably outstripped the other three teams from the UK and Ireland.

Aaron Ramsey (centre) in action for Wales against Slovakia at Euro 2016 (Getty Images)
Wales’ best player

AARON RAMSEY

Although Bale will inevitably dominate the headlines when it comes to Wales, the influence of Arsenal midfielder Ramsey should not be underestimated.

Ramsey was suspended for the semi-final and clearly missed, having fitted superbly into Coleman’s system operating mainly on the right side where he worked hard and showed his quality on the ball.

Wales’ worst player

NOBODY!

It would be very harsh to single out anyone as having under-performed because the entire team and squad exceeded expectations.

Don’t forget several Wales players were plying their trade in the Championship last season and that is a testament to the excellent job done by manager Coleman.

Where next for Wales?

The key is to build on this success and ensure it was not a one-off, with the World Cup qualifiers starting in September.

Coleman has been tied down on a new contract and star men Bale and Ramsey are at their peak, so the Welsh should fancy their chances of coming through a group that also contains the Republic of Ireland, Austria, Serbia, Georgia and Moldova.

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Wales Euro 2016 tournament in review

Wales enjoyed a fantastic Euro 2016 campaign, with Chris Coleman’s side progressing further than the national team ever had before at a major tournament by reaching the semi-finals.

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