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Posts Tagged ‘Euro 2016’

After last weekend’s matches we now know the line-up for the Euro 2016 semi-finals. This evening (Wednesday 6 July) at 20:00 BST (19:00 GMT) Wales play Portugal, then tomorrow evening (Thursday 7 July) the hosts France take on the World champions Germany.

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Wales play Portugal this evening (Wednesday), France play Germany on tomorrow (Thursday). Both matches start at 20:00 BST (19:00 GMT)

Wales’ match against Portugal is in Lyon, whilst the second semi-final is in Marseille. We in Wales are incredulous that we’ve got to the semi-finals, but we are also grateful to be facing Portugal and not France or Germany.

Of the teams to reach the semi-finals, Portugal have been by far the least impressive. They qualified 3rd in their group with three drawn matches. Then, in the round of 16, they only beat Croatia 1-0 in extra time. In the quarter finals they beat Poland, but this time only on penalties with it being 1-1 after extra time.

Of course, any team that has Cristiano Ronaldo in its ranks cannot be written off. With his brilliance he can turn a game around in a flash. But the contrast with Gareth Bale is interesting. Both play for Real Madrid, both are the stars of their teams, but there the similarities end. Bale is a team player, down to earth and a very popular member of the squad. The very opposite of a prima donna. Ronaldo is petulant, greedy and, one gets the impression, does not consider himself ‘one of the lads’. He is like a preening peacock; if he weren’t so brilliant he would surely be universally disliked.

Wales are, of course, riding on a wave of euphoria. The team will be bursting with confidence after our thrilling 3-1 win against Belgium on Friday evening. But, I am also confident that we will not take Portugal for granted. Chris Coleman is far too wily a coach to allow his team to do that. We will be missing midfielder Aaron Ramsey and defender Ben Davies, both suspended after picking up second yellow cards in the match against Belgium. But, we have such a structure  and game plan, which the team all believe in, that I am sure their replacements will step up admirably to to the high standard Ramsey and Davies have set.

It is going to be a very tense countdown to the big match in Wales! Dere ‘mlaen Cymru!!! (come on Wales!!!)

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Later today (Thursday 16 June), Wales take on England in the group stages of the 2016 Euro competition. Kick off is at 14:00 BST (13:00 GMT). In football, that is! I don’t think I have blogged about a Wales international football match in a long time, even though I do blog about club football from time to time.

This is the first international football tournament that Wales have qualified for since the 1958 World Cup! In that tournament we reached the quarter finals before being knocked out by Brazil, who went on to win the whole thing. But, since then, we have not qualified for either a World Cup or a Euro competition, it has been 58 years of hurt and disappointment. That is, until now.

Yes, unlike in rugby where we can compete with the best, in football Wales have not had much success at international level. But, with Gareth Bale (the most expensive player in world football) our talisman, it seems that anything is possible, and we find ourselves in the Euro 2016 tournament.

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Wales take on England in their second match of the group states of the Euro 2016 tournament. The game is being played in Lens. I am backing Wales to cause an upset and beat England!

We are in the same group as England, Russia and Slovakia. Today we play our second match of the three in the group stages, against England. Of course the British (English) press has given Wales no chance at all of winning this match, but I would not be surprised if we do create an upset. We shall have to see, because after the first round of games Wales sit at the top of Group B, having beaten Slovakia 2-1. England drew 1-1 with Russia, so maybe England will go into today’s match against us feeling a little nervous.

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Wales at top of Group B after the opening round of matches. We beat Slovakia 2-1, whereas England drew 1-1 with Russia.

So, Wales have it all to play for. If we beat England today, not only will it be a bloody nose for our larger neighbour (England’s population is twenty times Wales’ population); but it will mean that we have almost certainly qualified for the knock-out stages, and it will also mean that England could fail to qualify. That is called a win-win-win situation!

Come on Wales / Dere ‘mlaen Cymru!!!!!!!!

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