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Posts Tagged ‘Football Association of Wales’

This evening, Wales try to continue their extraordinary advance in the 2016 Euros. After beating Northern Ireland last Saturday, this evening we take on Belgium for a place in the semi-finals. Should we win, we will face Portugal who beat Poland last night on penalties after a 1-1 scoreline after extra time. The match is being played in Lille, and kick-off is at 20:00 BST (19:00 GMT). We were in the same qualifying group as Belgium for these Euros, so we have already played them home and away in the last 18 months. We beat them in Cardiff, and drew 0-0 in Brussels. So, we should nothing to fear going into this game.

Safari001

Wales play Belgium this evening for a place in the semi-finals of the 2016 Euros. Kick off is at 20:00 BST (19:00 GMT).

After the spectacular exit of England on Monday evening to Iceland, Wales are the only country from the British Isles left in the tournament. Of course, the London-based media have been dominated with the post-mortem of how England could lose to a country as small as Iceland, which has nicely taken the attention away from Wales as we prepare for our biggest match in 58 years.

I think this evening will be a tough test, but Wales have nothing to lose. We have already exceeded our expectations, so we should go into this game with a positive attitude and see what the evening brings. Let’s just hope Gareth Bale is at his best, he certainly has performed superbly for Wales during this tournament so far.

 

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After the disappointment of losing to England 2-1 last Thursday (16 June), Wales bounced back last night to defeat Russia 3-0 and finish top of Group B in the 2016 Euros. We were helped in finishing top by England having a 0-0 draw with Slovakia in their final game. What a remarkable achievement for Wales; it is our first time in a major championship since 1958 and we finish above our noisy neighbour.

Wales were simply majestic last night, we thoroughly deserved to win and it could have been by 5 or 6 and not just 3. We attacked from the start, and were 1-0 up by 11 minutes thanks to a fantastic goal by Aaron Ramsey. By 20 minutes it was 2-0, with Neil Taylor scoring his first goal since 2010 in any match!


It was 2-0 at half-time, but Wales continued to attack in the 2nd  half. It was possibly inevitable that our talisman, Gareth Bale, would make it 3-0 with a beautifully taken goal in the 68th minute. Although Russia had a few chances, they really didn’t trouble the Welsh defence too much. I would imagine their coach and team will be sent to a Gulag camp by Vladimir Putin.

By winning our group, Wales now have a much easier path to the Quarter Finals. On Saturday (25 June) we will play the 3rd place team in either group A,C or D. England, by finishing 2nd,  will meet the runner-up of Group F.

I could not be more proud of my little country. Well done Wales, let’s now continue to play attacking football, win on Saturday and reach the quarter finals.

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Ryan Giggs turned 40 last week, and is still going as strong as ever. Many newspapers celebrated his remarkable career. He has been playing top-class football since the age of 17, playing all his games for Manchester United and Wales. As of the writing of this article, he has appeared an amazing 953 times for Manchester United (including 611 appearances in the Premier League, which is a record), and 64 times for Wales.

I thought I would include links to two of the many many articles that have been written about this remarkable Welshman in the last week. The first is from Wales’ national newspaper, The Western Mail. The link to the actual story is here.



The Western Mail, the national newspaper of Wales, ran several articles celebrating Ryan Giggs turning 40.

The Western Mail, the national newspaper of Wales, ran several articles celebrating Ryan Giggs turning 40.



But, just to show that it is not only the Welsh press who have been celebrating his career, here is a link to a story about Giggs’ enduring career from The Guardian, an English newspaper.



This article, from The Guardian newspaper, celebrates Ryan Giggs' enduring career.

This article, from The Guardian newspaper, celebrates Ryan Giggs’ enduring career.



It will be interesting to see how much longer Giggs carries on playing. Although he has lost a little of his phenomenal pace, he still seems to have the hunger to play top-flight football, and has looked after his body very very well so shows no sign of his body breaking down as so often happens to sports players once they reach their mid 30s. Let us hope that he continues to light up the football stadia of Europe for as long as he still enjoys it.

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