Wales
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Dragons (Welsh: Y Dreigiau)
AssociationFootball Association of Wales (FAW)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRob Page
CaptainAaron Ramsey
Most capsGareth Bale (111)
Top scorerGareth Bale (41)
Home stadiumCardiff City Stadium
FIFA codeWAL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current29 Decrease 1 (30 November 2023)[1]
Highest8 (October 2015)
Lowest117 (August 2011)
First international
 Scotland 4–0 Wales 
(Glasgow, Scotland; 25 March 1876)
Biggest win
 Wales 11–0 Ireland 
(Wrexham, Wales; 3 March 1888)
Biggest defeat
 Scotland 9–0 Wales 
(Glasgow, Scotland; 23 March 1878)
World Cup
Appearances2 (first in 1958)
Best resultQuarter-finals (1958)
European Championship
Appearances2 (first in 2016)
Best resultThird place (2016)
Websitewww.faw.cymru/en/

The Wales men's national football team (Welsh: Tîm pêl-droed cenedlaethol Cymru) represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the governing body for football in Wales. They have been a member of FIFA since 1946 and a member of UEFA since 1954.

The team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup twice, in 1958 and 2022. In 1958, they reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champions Brazil. They then went 58 years before reaching their second major tournament, when – following a rise of 109 places from an all-time low of 117th to a peak of 8th in the FIFA World Rankings between August 2011 and October 2015[3][4][5][6] – they qualified for UEFA Euro 2016, where they reached the semi-finals before again losing to the eventual champions, Portugal. A second successive UEFA European Championship followed when Wales reached the round of 16 of UEFA Euro 2020. They also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-finals, though this was played on a two-legged, home-and-away basis and is not considered part of the finals tournament.

Historically, the Welsh team has featured a number of players from Wales' top club teams, Cardiff City and Swansea City. These two Welsh clubs play in the English league system alongside fellow Welsh clubs Newport County, Wrexham and Merthyr Town. However, most Welsh football clubs play in the Welsh football league system. Wales, as a country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games.

History

See also: History of the Wales national football team

The early years

The Wales side of 1887–88

Wales played its first competitive match on 25 March 1876 against Scotland in Glasgow, making it the third-oldest international football team in the world. Although the Scots won the first fixture 4–0, a return match was planned in Wales the following year, and so it was that the first international football match on Welsh soil took place at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, on 5 March 1877. Scotland took the spoils winning 2–0. Wales' first match against England came in 1879, a 2–1 defeat at the Kennington Oval, London, and in 1882, Wales faced Ireland for the first time, winning 7–1 in Wrexham.

The associations of the four Home Nations met at the International Football Conference in Manchester on 6 December 1882 to set down a set of worldwide rules. This meeting saw the establishment of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to approve changes to the rules, a task the four associations still perform to this day. The 1883–84 season saw the formation of the British Home Championship, a tournament which was played annually between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales until 1983–84.[7] Wales were champions on 12 occasions, winning outright seven times whilst sharing the title five times.

The FAW became members of FIFA, world football's governing body, in 1910, but the relationship between FIFA and the British associations was fraught and the British nations withdrew from FIFA in 1928 in a dispute over payments to amateur players. As a result, Wales did not enter the first three FIFA World Cups. In 1932, Wales played host to the Republic of Ireland, the first time they played against a side from outside the four home nations. One year later, Wales played a match outside the United Kingdom for the first time when they travelled to Paris to play France national football team in a match drawn 1–1. After World War II, Wales, along with the other three home nations, rejoined FIFA in 1946 and took part in the qualifying rounds for the 1950 World Cup, the 1949–50 Home Championships being designated as a qualifying group. The top two teams were to qualify for the finals in Brazil, but Wales finished bottom of the group.

1958 World Cup

John Charles on international duty for Wales, against Scotland, 1954

The 1950s were a golden age for Welsh football with stars such as Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, Alf Sherwood, Jack Kelsey, Trevor Ford, Ronnie Burgess, Terry Medwin and John Charles.

Wales made their first World Cup finals tournament appearance in the 1958 edition in Sweden. However, their path to qualification was unusual. Having finished second to Czechoslovakia in qualifying Group 4, the golden generation of Welsh football managed by Jimmy Murphy seemed to have missed out on qualification, but the politics of the Middle East subsequently intervened. In the Asian/African qualifying zone, Egypt and Sudan had refused to play against Israel following the Suez crisis, while Indonesia had insisted on meeting Israel on neutral ground. As a result, FIFA proclaimed Israel winners of their group. However, FIFA did not want a team to qualify for the World Cup finals without actually playing a match, and so lots were drawn of all the second-placed teams in UEFA. Belgium were drawn out first but refused to participate, and so then Wales was drawn out and awarded a two-legged play-off match against Israel with a place in Sweden for the winners.[8] Having defeated Israel 2–0 at the Ramat Gan Stadium and 2–0 at Ninian Park, Cardiff, Wales went through to a World Cup finals tournament for the first time.

The strong Welsh squad made their mark in Sweden, drawing all the matches in their group against Hungary, Mexico and Sweden before defeating Hungary in a play-off match to reach the quarter-finals against Brazil. However, Wales' chances of victory against Brazil were hampered by an injury to John Charles that ruled him out of the match. Wales lost 1–0 with 17-year-old Pelé scoring his first international goal. The goal made Pelé the youngest World Cup goal scorer and Brazil went on to win the tournament.

Wales' remarkable campaign in Sweden was the subject of the best-selling book When Pele Broke Our Hearts: Wales and the 1958 World Cup (by Mario Risoli, St David's Press) which was published on the 40th anniversary of the World Cup and was also the inspiration for a Bafta Cymru-nominated documentary.

1970s

Wales failed to qualify for the first four finals tournaments of the UEFA European Championship from its inception in 1960. They also did not replicate their success in qualifying for the 1958 FIFA World Cup, although they did achieve a highly creditable draw against then world champions England in the 1970 British Home Championship, weeks before England went to defend their title in Mexico 1970 FIFA World Cup. This helped to give Wales a share of the Home Championship trophy for the year, goal difference not at that stage being used to determine an outright winner. In 1976, the team – managed by Mike Smith – reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Championship, having finished top of qualifying Group 2 ahead of Hungary, Austria and Luxembourg, but this was not considered part of the finals. Prior to 1980, only four countries qualified for the finals tournament, and Wales were drawn to play against the winners of Group 3 – Yugoslavia – in a two-legged, home-and-away tie. Wales lost the first leg 2–0 in Zagreb and were eliminated from the competition following a 1–1 draw in a bad-tempered return leg at Cardiff's Ninian Park, which was marred by crowd trouble. This initially led to Wales being banned from the 1980 tournament, but this was reduced on appeal to a four-year ban on qualifying matches being played within 100 miles of Cardiff. Yugoslavia went on to finish fourth in the 1976 tournament.

The following year, Wales defeated England on English soil for the first time in 42 years and secured their only victory to date at Wembley Stadium thanks to a Leighton James penalty. Wales went onto finish second in the 1977 British Home Championship. A few weeks earlier, Wales achieved another noted victory against then European Champions Czechoslovakia with Nick Deacy and James again scoring.[9] This victory in a qualifier strengthened Wales' bid to qualify for the 1978 FIFA World Cup, but six months later, that attempt ended in controversial circumstances. The decisive fixture against Scotland - nominally a home fixture for Wales, although relocated to Anfield amidst security concerns - was swung by a contentious penalty awarded to Scotland, replays suggesting the handball offence may have actually been perpetrated by Scottish striker Joe Jordan.[10] Another notable achievement for Wales however came in the 1980 British Home Championship, as Wales comprehensively defeated England at the Racecourse Ground. Goals from Mickey Thomas, Ian Walsh, Leighton James and an own goal by Phil Thompson saw Wales defeat England 4–1 just four days after England had defeated the then-world champions, Argentina.

1980s

In the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the Wales team – managed by Mike England – came extremely close to qualification; a 3–0 defeat against the Soviet Union in their final match meant they missed out on goal difference, but the real damage had been done by their failure to beat Iceland in their last home match, the match eventually finishing 2–2 after several hold-ups due to floodlight failures.

Wales also only narrowly missed out on qualification for the 1984 UEFA European Championship. They were seconds away from qualification when a winning goal by Ljubomir Radanović for Yugoslavia during injury time in the final game of qualifying group 4 against Bulgaria eliminated Wales.

Mark Hughes marked his debut for Wales by scoring the only goal of the match as England were defeated once again in 1984. The following season, Hughes was again on target, scoring a wonder goal as Wales thrashed Spain 3–0 at the Racecourse during qualification for the 1986 World Cup. However, despite defeating Scotland 1–0 at Hampden Park, it was again Iceland that wrecked Welsh hopes by defeating Wales 1–0 in Reykjavík, and for the second World Cup in a row, Wales missed out on goal difference. Wales had to win their last match at home to Scotland to be guaranteed at least a play-off, but were held to a 1–1 draw in a match marred by the death of Scotland manager Jock Stein, who collapsed from a heart attack at the end of the match.

Wales also started strongly in their bid to qualify for the 1988 UEFA European Championship, and were undefeated after four games. But away defeats against Denmark and Czechoslovakia in the last two games in qualifying group 6 saw Mike England's eight-year reign as Welsh coach end in another disappointment.

1990s

Under coach Terry Yorath, Wales achieved a remarkable result on 5 June 1991 when defeating then world champions Germany in a Euro 1992 qualifier, thanks to a goal from Ian Rush. Three months later, on 11 September 1991, Wales achieved a notable double by defeating Brazil for the only time in a friendly international, thanks to a goal from Dean Saunders.[11] At this point, Wales seemed well placed to progress from their qualifying group 5. However, victories for Germany in their three remaining matches in the group, including a 4–1 win in the return fixture against Wales, eliminated the Welsh.

Wales also made a strong showing in their qualifying group for the 1994 World Cup, achieving a noted victory at home to Belgium. Wales thus attained what was then their highest position in the FIFA World Rankings on 27 August 1993. Wales again came close to qualifying for a major championship only to fall short in the closing stages of their campaign. Needing to win the final match of the group at home to Romania on 17 November, Paul Bodin missed a penalty when the scores were level 1–1; the miss was immediately followed by Romania taking the lead and going on to win 2–1.[12][13]

Following the failure to qualify, Yorath's contract as manager of the national side was not renewed by the FAW, and Real Sociedad manager John Toshack was appointed on a part-time basis. However, Toshack resigned after just one match (a 3–1 defeat to Norway) citing problems with the FAW as his reason for leaving, although he was sure to have been shocked at being booed off the pitch at Ninian Park by the Welsh fans still reeling from the dismissal of Yorath.[14] Mike Smith took the manager role for the second time at the start of the Euro 1996 qualifiers, but Wales slipped to embarrassing defeats against Moldova and Georgia before Bobby Gould was appointed in June 1995.

Gould's time in charge of Wales is seen as a dark period by Welsh football fans. His questionable tactics and public fallings-out with players Nathan Blake,[15] Robbie Savage[16] and Mark Hughes,[citation needed] coupled with embarrassing defeats to club side Leyton Orient and a 7–1 thrashing by the Netherlands in 1996 did not make him a popular figure within Wales. Gould finally resigned following a 4–0 defeat to Italy in 1999, and the FAW turned to two legends of the national team, Neville Southall and Mark Hughes, to take temporary charge of the match against Denmark four days later, with Hughes later being appointed on a permanent basis.

2000s

Under Mark Hughes, Wales came close to qualifying for a place at Euro 2004 in Portugal, being narrowly defeated by Russia in the play-offs. However, the defeat was not without its controversy, as Russian midfielder Yegor Titov tested positive for the use of a banned substance after the first qualifying leg,[17] a scoreless draw in Moscow. Notwithstanding, FIFA opted not to take action against the Football Union of Russia other than instructing them not to field Titov again, and the Russian team went on to defeat Wales 1–0 in Cardiff to qualify for the final tournament.[citation needed]

Following a disappointing start to the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, Hughes left his role with the national team to take over as manager of Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers.[18][19] John Toshack was appointed manager for the second time in November 2004.[20] In Euro 2008 qualifying, Wales finished 5th in Group D.[21] In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group 4, two 2–0 home defeats by Finland and Germany in spring 2009 effectively ended Wales' hopes of qualification.

Wales were drawn in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G. After a defeat at Montenegro in their opening match, on 9 September 2010, John Toshack stood down as manager after being disappointed at previous results in 2010 against Croatia and the opening Euro 2012 qualifier.[22] Wales under-21 coach Brian Flynn took over from Toshack as caretaker manager.[23]

2010s

The Wales team on 11 October 2011 ahead of their UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match against Bulgaria in Sofia

Gary Speed was appointed as permanent manager on 14 December 2010.[24] Speed appointed 20-year-old Aaron Ramsey captain, making him the youngest Wales captain.[25] In August 2011, Wales attained their lowest FIFA ranking of 117th.[26] After some promising performances, in October 2011, Wales had rapidly risen to 45th in the FIFA rankings.[citation needed] A 4–1 home win in a friendly match against Norway on 12 November 2011 proved to be Speed's last match in charge of Wales.[citation needed] The match was a culmination of Speed's efforts which led Wales to receive the unofficial award for biggest mover of 2011 in the FIFA rankings.[27] His tenure as manager ended in tragic circumstances two weeks later when he was found dead at his home on 27 November, having apparently committed suicide.[28][29]

Due to London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, a Great Britain team would qualify as of right of being the host nation. However, the FAW stressed it was strongly against the proposal.[30] Despite this, Welsh players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale expressed their interest in representing the Great Britain Olympic football team.[31] Bale controversially withdrew due to injury,[32] but Ramsey was joined by four other Welshmen in Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad: Swansea City's Joe Allen and Neil Taylor, while Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Liverpool's Craig Bellamy were included as over-age players, with Giggs being made captain.[33]

Chris Coleman was appointed Wales team manager on 19 January 2012.[34] For 2014 World Cup qualification, Wales were drawn in Group A but finished 5th.[35][36] Wales were placed in Group B for qualifying for Euro 2016. In July 2015, following four wins and two draws, Wales topped the group.

In July 2015, having attained their then highest FIFA ranking of tenth,[37] Wales were placed among the top seeds for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification draw.[38] In September 2015, England dropped to tenth in the FIFA rankings, making Wales – in ninth position – the highest-ranked British team for the first time in its history.[39] In October 2015, Wales attained their highest ever FIFA ranking of eighth.[40] On 10 October 2015, Wales lost 2–0 to Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, Wales' qualification for Euro 2016 was confirmed after Cyprus defeated Israel that same evening.[41]

Euro 2016

After reaching the Euro 2016 semi-final, the Wales National Football Team return to Wales for an open-top bus parade through Cardiff city centre.

Wales qualified for Euro 2016 in France, their first European Championship tournament, and were drawn into Group B with Slovakia, Russia and England. On their Euro debut, on 11 June against Slovakia at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Gareth Bale scored direct from a free-kick to give Wales a 1–0 lead, and Hal Robson-Kanu scored the winner in a 2–1 victory.[42] In their second match, against England in Lens, Wales led 1–0 at half-time through another Bale free-kick, but lost 2–1.[43] Against Russia at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse, Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Bale scored in a 3–0 win that made them win the group.[44]

In their round of 16 match at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Wales played Northern Ireland and won 1–0 after an own goal from Gareth McAuley.[45] In the quarter-final against Belgium, Wales went behind to a long-range effort from Radja Nainggolan, but captain Ashley Williams headed an equaliser before Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes confirmed a 3–1 victory for Wales. This victory advanced Wales to their first major tournament semi-final and also made them the first British nation to advance to the semi-finals of a major tournament since 1996.[46]

Wales lost 2–0 in the semi-final against Portugal with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani early in the second half.[47] Wales were welcomed back home on 8 July with an open-top bus parade around Cardiff, starting at Cardiff Castle and going past the Millennium Stadium before finishing at the Cardiff City Stadium.[48]

2018 World Cup qualification and China Cup

Wales finished third in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group, therefore failing to qualify for the final tournament.[49][50] Chris Coleman resigned as Wales manager on 17 November 2017 to join Sunderland.[51]

Wales were invited to participate in the 2018 China Cup alongside China, Czech Republic and Uruguay.[52] Wales beat China 6–0 in the semi-final but lost 1–0 in the final to Uruguay.[53][54]

2020s

Euro 2020 and Nations League

On 15 January 2018, Ryan Giggs was confirmed as new manager.[55] Despite losing two of the first three qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2020,[56] Wales went unbeaten in the second half of 2019 and ultimately qualified in second place following a 2–0 win over Hungary in their final match on 19 November.[57][58]

Euro 2020 was delayed until 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, which meant Wales' next games came in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League.[59][57] They kept five consecutive clean sheets on the way to an unbeaten record in the competition, winning five games and drawing one, despite Giggs not being available for the last two games due to legal troubles.[60][61] With Rob Page in interim charge, the team beat Finland 3–1 in their final match to finish top of the group and gain promotion to League A for the 2022–23 UEFA Nations League.[62]

UEFA Euro 2020 was played in June and July 2021. Under Page as interim manager, Wales progressed from the group stage after finishing second in the group on goal difference.[63] In the last 16 round Wales lost to Denmark in Amsterdam.[64]

2022 World Cup, Nations League and Gareth Bale retirement

The team that defeated Ukraine on 5 June 2022 to qualify for the 2022 World Cup[65]

Rob Page remained in interim charge for the 2022 World Cup qualification campaign. Wales finished second in Group E and progressed to the qualification play-off stage.[66] After beating Austria in the play-off semi-final, Wales qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 with a 1–0 win over Ukraine.[67]

Following their promotion in the previous Nations League campaign, Wales were drawn in Group A4 of the 2022–23 UEFA Nations League along with Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland, with Rob Page still interim manager.[68]

Wales line up against United States at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

On 20 June 2022, Ryan Giggs resigned as Wales manager due to his upcoming court case.[69] Page stayed on as interim manager before being given a four-year contract extension in September 2022, managing Wales at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.[70] After a 1–1 draw with the United States in the opening match, Wales lost their second match to Iran after conceding two injury time goals.[71][72] In their final match, Wales were eliminated after losing 3–0 to England, therefore, finishing bottom of the group. Wales was eliminated from the group stage for the first time ever.[73]

On 9 January 2023, Wales captain Gareth Bale retired from club and international football. At the time of his retirement he was the record goal scorer and record appearance holder for the Welsh team.[74]

Euro 2024

Wales began to compete for a place in the UEFA Euro 2024 after a poor show in Qatar, and were drawn in Group D against Armenia, Turkey, Latvia and Croatia. Wales kickstarted their qualification run in March with an emphatic 1–1 away draw to Croatia, which had just finished third in the World Cup in Qatar, thanked to a late equaliser from Nathan Broadhead, before gaining a hard-fought 1–0 win over Latvia at home, leaving impression that Wales is now serious for the qualification and will compete for a place in Euro 2024 directly.[75][76] However, Wales suffered two shocking setbacks on June, losing 4–2 at home to Armenia before crumbled 2–0 away to Turkey, both games saw Wales reduced to ten.[77][78] Wales regained hopes on September and October with a 2–0 away win over Latvia and, most notably, a heroic 2–1 victory over Croatia at home soil to put Wales back on the race.[79][80] However, Wales ended up squander this golden opportunity in one of two penultimate matches on November, suffered a shock 1–1 away draw to Armenia that effectively blew away Wales' direct qualification; another 1–1 draw, this time at home to Turkey, combined with Croatia's two consecutive wins over Latvia and Armenia, meant that Wales failed to qualify for Euro 2024 directly.[81][82] As for the result and combined with Nations League record, Wales has to look forward the play-offs against Finland; who win this fixture will play host against either Poland or Estonia in the decisive play-off match.

Team image

Media coverage

Live television broadcast rights are held by S4C (Welsh language commentary) and Sky Sports (English language commentary) until 2022.

The primary kit has long been all-red. The crest of the Football Association of Wales features a rampant Welsh Dragon on a white shield. From 1920, the shield was surrounded by a red border, and the letters 'FAW' were added in 1926. The badge was redesigned in 1951, adding a green border with 11 daffodils, as well as the Welsh-language motto Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae ("The best play is team play"). The motto was briefly removed in 1984, but the badge stayed largely the same until 2010, when the shield was changed to feature rounded sides and the motto banner was changed from white to red and green. The dragon also changed from rampant to rampant regardant. The motto was removed again in 2019, following another major redesign of the badge, which saw the top of the shield flattened and the sides changed not to curve outwards; the green border was also thinned and the daffodils removed.[83]

Kit supplier

Kit provider Period
Admiral 1976–1980
Adidas 1980–1987
Hummel 1987–1990
Umbro 1990–1996
Lotto 1996–2000
Kappa 2000–2008
Champion 2008–2010
Umbro 2010–2013
Adidas 2013–

Name

The team is sometimes known and branded mononymously as "Cymru", the Welsh language name for Wales, by the Football Association of Wales (FAW; or in Welsh: Cymdeithas Bêl-droed Cymru; CBC), as the FAW uses the term in its internal and external communications. In October 2022, the FAW announced it was considering rebranding the team to only use the Welsh name for the country, ditching the term "Wales", following the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The association said it was in discussions with UEFA over how to change the name, and were inspired by Turkey's rebrand to Türkiye and not being the last country alphabetically in some football events.[84][85][86] The suggestion was stated by University of Limerick professor Owen Worth, to be an example of the connection between the team's supporters' clubs and pro-Welsh independence groups such as YesCymru and AUOB Cymru.[87]

Home stadium

Main article: Wales national football team home stadium

The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

From 2000 to 2009, Wales played most of their home matches at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The stadium was built in 1999 on the site of the old National Stadium, known as Cardiff Arms Park, as the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Prior to 1989, Wales played their home games at the grounds of Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham, but then came to an agreement with the WRU to use Cardiff Arms Park and, subsequently, the Millennium Stadium.

Wales' first football match at the Millennium Stadium was against Finland on 29 March 2000. The Finns won the match 2–1, with Jari Litmanen becoming the first player to score a goal at the stadium. Ryan Giggs scored Wales' goal in the match, becoming the first Welshman to score at the stadium.

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Liberty Stadium, Swansea

With the opening of the Cardiff City Stadium in 2009, the FAW chose to stage most home friendlies there, with other friendly matches played at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea (now known as the Swansea.com Stadium) and the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. Qualifying matches continued to be played at the 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium until the end of 2009, which was typically only around 20–40% full amid poor team results. This led to calls from fans and players for international matches to be held at smaller stadiums. For the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, the FAW decided Wales would play all of their home matches at either the Cardiff City Stadium or the Liberty Stadium, with the exception of the home tie against England, which was played at the Millennium Stadium. The 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign saw four home matches at the Cardiff City Stadium and one at the Liberty Stadium. Cardiff City Stadium's capacity was increased to 33,000 in 2014 and all home matches for Euro 2016 qualifying were scheduled at the stadium and Wales subsequently qualified for the finals tournament in France. All five home qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup were held at the stadium as well as both of the team's home 2018–19 UEFA Nations League games. All home games in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign also took place there. A friendly against Spain was played at the Millennium Stadium on 11 October 2018, which was Wales' first match at the stadium in just over seven-and-a-half years, finishing in a 4–1 defeat. On 20 March 2019, Wales played a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago at the Racecourse Ground, their first match there since 2008.

Results and fixtures

Main article: Wales national football team results (2020–present)

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023

25 March 2023 (2023-03-25) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Croatia  1–1  Wales Split, Croatia
20:45 UTC+2 Kramarić 28' Report Broadhead 90+3' Stadium: Stadion Poljud
Attendance: 33,474
Referee: João Pinheiro (Portugal)
28 March 2023 (2023-03-28) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Wales  1–0  Latvia Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 32,806
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (Georgia)
16 June 2023 (2023-06-16) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Wales  2–4  Armenia Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1
Report
Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 32,774
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
19 June 2023 (2023-06-19) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Turkey  2–0  Wales Samsun, Turkey
21:45 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Samsun 19 Mayıs Stadium
Attendance: 28,766
Referee: Fabio Maresca (Italy)
7 September 2023 (2023-09-07) Friendly Wales  0–0  South Korea Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Willie Collum (Scotland)
11 September 2023 (2023-09-11) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Latvia  0–2  Wales Riga, Latvia
20:45 UTC+2 Report
Stadium: Skonto Stadium
Attendance: 6,464
Referee: Michal Ocenáš (Slovakia)
11 October 2023 (2023-10-11) Friendly Wales  4–0  Gibraltar Wrexham, Wales
19:45 UTC+1
BBC report
Sky report
Soccerway report
Stadium: Racecourse Ground
Attendance: 10,008
Referee: Philip Farrugia (Malta)
15 October 2023 (2023-10-15) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Wales  2–1  Croatia Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1 Wilson 47', 60' Report Pašalić 75' Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 31,240
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)
18 November 2023 (2023-11-18) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Armenia  1–1  Wales Yerevan, Armenia
18:00 UTC+4 Zelarayán 5' BBC report
Sky report
UEFA Report
Tiknizyan 45+2' (og) Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium
Attendance: 14,271
Referee: Benoît Bastien (France)
21 November 2023 (2023-11-21) Euro 2024 qualifying Group D Wales  1–1  Turkey Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC±0 Report
Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 32,291
Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia)

2024

21 March 2024 (2024-03-21) Euro 2024 qualifying play-off Wales  v  Finland Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC±0 Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) Euro 2024 qualifying play-off / Friendly Wales  v  Estonia /  Poland Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC±0 Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
9 June 2024 (2024-06-09) Friendly Slovakia  v  Wales Slovakia
Report
6 September 2024 (2024-09-06) 2024–25 UEFA Nations League B Wales  v  Turkey Wales
19:45 UTC+1
9 September 2024 (2024-09-09) 2024–25 UEFA Nations League B Montenegro  v  Wales Montenegro
19:45 UTC±0
11 October 2024 (2024-10-11) 2024–25 UEFA Nations League B Iceland  v  Wales Iceland
19:45 UTC±0
14 October 2024 (2024-10-14) 2024–25 UEFA Nations League B Wales  v  Montenegro Wales
19:45 UTC+1
16 November 2024 (2024-11-16) 2024–25 UEFA Nations League B Turkey  v  Wales Turkey
17:00 UTC±0
19 November 2024 (2024-11-19) 2024–25 UEFA Nations League B Wales  v  Iceland Wales
19:45 UTC±0

Coaching staff

Position Name
Manager Wales Rob Page
Assistant manager Wales Jon Grey
Coaches Wales Alan Knill
Wales Chris Gunter
Head of performance Wales Nick Davies
Goalkeeping coach Wales Tony Roberts
Fitness coach Wales Adam Owen
Medical officer England Jon Houghton
Performance psychologist Wales Ian Mitchell
Physiotherapists England Sean Connelly
Wales David Rowe
England Chris Senior
England Paul Harris
Sports scientist Republic of Ireland Ronan Kavanagh
Equipment officers Wales David Griffiths
Wales Kevin McCusker
Performance analysts Wales Esther Wills
Wales James Turner

Coaching history

Main article: Wales national football team manager

Caretaker manager are listed in italics.

Prior to 1954 the Welsh team was chosen by a panel of selectors with the team captain fulfilling the role of coach.

Players

Current squad

Wales named the following squad for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Armenia and Turkey on 18 and 21 November 2023, respectively.

Caps and goals are correct as of 21 November 2023, after the match against Turkey.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Wayne Hennessey (1987-01-24) 24 January 1987 (age 37) 109 0 England Nottingham Forest
12 1GK Danny Ward (1993-06-22) 22 June 1993 (age 30) 38 0 England Leicester City
21 1GK Tom King (1995-03-09) 9 March 1995 (age 28) 0 0 England Wolverhampton Wanderers

4 2DF Ben Davies (vice-captain) (1993-04-24) 24 April 1993 (age 30) 84 2 England Tottenham Hotspur
14 2DF Connor Roberts (1995-09-23) 23 September 1995 (age 28) 53 3 England Leeds United
6 2DF Joe Rodon (1997-10-22) 22 October 1997 (age 26) 42 0 England Leeds United
3 2DF Neco Williams (2001-04-13) 13 April 2001 (age 22) 36 3 England Nottingham Forest
2 2DF Tom Lockyer (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 (age 29) 16 0 England Luton Town
5 2DF Ben Cabango (2000-05-30) 30 May 2000 (age 23) 7 0 Wales Swansea City
19 2DF Niall Huggins (2000-12-18) 18 December 2000 (age 23) 0 0 England Sunderland
11 2DF Jay Dasilva (1998-04-22) 22 April 1998 (age 25) 0 0 England Coventry City

8 3MF Harry Wilson (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 (age 26) 52 8 England Fulham
15 3MF Ethan Ampadu (2000-09-14) 14 September 2000 (age 23) 49 0 England Leeds United
16 3MF Joe Morrell (1997-01-03) 3 January 1997 (age 27) 37 0 England Portsmouth
7 3MF David Brooks (1997-07-08) 8 July 1997 (age 26) 27 3 England Southampton
17 3MF Jordan James (2004-07-02) 2 July 2004 (age 19) 8 0 England Birmingham City
22 3MF Josh Sheehan (1995-03-30) 30 March 1995 (age 28) 5 0 England Bolton Wanderers

20 4FW Daniel James (1997-11-10) 10 November 1997 (age 26) 49 6 England Leeds United
13 4FW Kieffer Moore (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 (age 31) 39 12 England Ipswich Town
9 4FW Brennan Johnson (2001-05-23) 23 May 2001 (age 22) 24 2 England Tottenham Hotspur
10 4FW Tom Bradshaw (1992-07-27) 27 July 1992 (age 31) 8 0 England Millwall
23 4FW Nathan Broadhead (1998-04-05) 5 April 1998 (age 25) 9 2 England Ipswich Town
18 4FW Liam Cullen (1999-04-23) 23 April 1999 (age 24) 1 0 Wales Swansea City

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Adam Davies INJ (1992-07-17) 17 July 1992 (age 31) 4 0 England Sheffield United v.  Gibraltar, 11 October 2023

DF Chris Mepham SUS (1997-11-05) 5 November 1997 (age 26) 44 0 England Bournemouth v.  Turkey, 21 November 2023
DF Regan Poole (1998-06-18) 18 June 1998 (age 25) 1 0 England Portsmouth v.  Croatia, 15 October 2023
DF Joe Low (2002-02-20) 20 February 2002 (age 22) 1 0 England Wycombe Wanderers v.  Croatia, 15 October 2023
DF Owen Beck (2002-08-09) 9 August 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Scotland Dundee v.  Gibraltar, 11 October 2023
DF Morgan Fox (1993-09-21) 21 September 1993 (age 30) 0 0 England Queens Park Rangers v.  Latvia, 11 September 2023

MF Dylan Levitt (2000-11-17) 17 November 2000 (age 23) 13 0 Scotland Hibernian v.  Croatia, 15 October 2023
MF Charlie Savage (2003-05-02) 2 May 2003 (age 20) 1 0 England Reading v.  Croatia, 15 October 2023
MF Wes Burns INJ (1994-11-23) 23 November 1994 (age 29) 6 0 England Ipswich Town v.  Croatia, 15 October 2023
MF Luke Harris (2005-04-03) 3 April 2005 (age 18) 0 0 England Exeter City v.  Gibraltar, 11 October 2023
MF Aaron Ramsey (captain) (1990-12-26) 26 December 1990 (age 33) 84 21 Wales Cardiff City v.  Latvia, 11 September 2023
MF Oli Cooper (1999-12-14) 14 December 1999 (age 24) 1 0 Wales Swansea City v.  Turkey, 19 June 2023
MF Sorba Thomas (1999-01-25) 25 January 1999 (age 25) 8 0 England Huddersfield Town v.  Latvia, 28 March 2023

FW Rabbi Matondo (2000-09-09) 9 September 2000 (age 23) 11 0 Scotland Rangers v.  Latvia, 11 September 2023
FW Mark Harris (1998-12-29) 29 December 1998 (age 25) 5 0 England Oxford United v.  Latvia, 28 March 2023

INJ Withdrew due to injury
WD Withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue
SUS Serving suspension
RET Retired from the national team
PRE Preliminary squad / standby

Individual records

Main article: List of Wales international footballers

As of 14 January 2024[88]
Players in bold are still active with Wales.

Most appearances

Gareth Bale played a record 111 matches for Wales between 2006 and 2022, and is also their top goalscorer with 41 goals.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Gareth Bale 111 41 2006–2022
2 Chris Gunter 109 0 2007–2022
Wayne Hennessey 109 0 2007–present
4 Neville Southall 92 0 1982–1997
5 Ashley Williams 86 2 2008–2019
6 Gary Speed 85 7 1990–2004
7 Ben Davies 84 2 2012–present
Aaron Ramsey 84 21 2008–present
9 Craig Bellamy 78 19 1998–2013
10 Joe Ledley 77 4 2005–2018

Most goals

Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Gareth Bale (list) 41 111 0.37 2006–2022
2 Ian Rush (list) 28 73 0.38 1980–1996
3 Trevor Ford 23 38 0.61 1947–1957
Ivor Allchurch 23 68 0.34 1951–1966
5 Dean Saunders 22 75 0.29 1986–2001
6 Aaron Ramsey 21 84 0.25 2008–present
7 Craig Bellamy 19 78 0.24 1998–2013
8 Robert Earnshaw 16 59 0.27 2002–2011
Cliff Jones 16 59 0.27 1954–1970
Mark Hughes 16 72 0.22 1984–1999

Notable former players

Welsh Sports Hall of Fame inductees

[89]

Welsh inductees to the English Football Hall of Fame

[90]

Welsh winners of the FWA Footballer of the Year

[91]

Welsh winners of the PFA Players' Player of the Year

[92]

Team records

 Wales 11–0 Ireland 
(Wrexham, Wales; 3 March 1888)

 Scotland 9–0 Wales 
(Glasgow, Scotland; 23 March 1878)

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

Main article: Wales at the FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record Qualification play-offs record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950 Did not qualify 3 0 1 2 1 6
Switzerland 1954 3 0 1 2 5 9
Sweden 1958 Quarter-finals 5th 5 1 3* 1 4 4 6 4 0 2 10 5 2 2 0 0 4 0
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 2 3
England 1966 6 3 0 3 11 9
Mexico 1970 4 0 0 4 3 10
West Germany 1974 4 1 1 2 3 5
Argentina 1978 4 1 0 3 3 4
Spain 1982 8 4 2 2 12 7
Mexico 1986 6 3 1 2 7 6
Italy 1990 6 0 2 4 4 8
United States 1994 10 5 2 3 19 12
France 1998 8 2 1 5 20 21
South Korea Japan 2002 10 1 6 3 10 12
Germany 2006 10 2 2 6 10 15
South Africa 2010 10 4 0 6 9 12
Brazil 2014 10 3 1 6 9 20
Russia 2018 10 4 5 1 13 6
Qatar 2022 Group stage 30th 3 0 1 2 1 6 10 6 3 1 17 10 2 2 0 0 3 1
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Morocco Portugal Spain 2030
Saudi Arabia 2034
Totals Quarter-finals 2/22 8 1 4 3 5 10 130 43 29 58 168 180 4 4 0 0 7 1

UEFA European Championship

Main article: Wales at the UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record Qualification play-offs record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Spain 1964 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 2 4
Italy 1968 6 1 2 3 6 12
Belgium 1972 6 2 1 3 5 6
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976[a] 8 5 1 2 15 7 2 0 1 1 1 3
Italy 1980 6 3 0 3 11 8
France 1984 6 2 3 1 7 6
West Germany 1988 6 2 2 2 7 5
Sweden 1992 6 4 1 1 8 6
England 1996 10 2 2 6 9 19
Belgium Netherlands 2000 8 3 0 5 7 16
Portugal 2004 10 4 2 4 13 11 2 0 1 1 0 1
Austria Switzerland 2008 12 4 3 5 18 19
Poland Ukraine 2012 8 3 0 5 6 10
France 2016 Semi-finals 3rd 6 4 0 2 10 6 10 6 3 1 11 4
Europe 2020 Round of 16 16th 4 1 1* 2 3 6 8 4 2 2 10 6
Germany 2024 To be determined 8 3 3 2 10 10 2
United Kingdom Republic of Ireland 2028 To be determined
Italy Turkey 2032
Total Semi-finals 2/16 10 5 1* 4 13 12 112 45 23 44 135 139 4 0 2 2 1 4

Notes

  1. ^ Wales progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-finals, though this was played on a two-legged, home-and-away basis and is not considered part of the finals tournament.

* Red border colour indicates tournament held on home soil.

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Round Pld W D* L GF GA P/R Rank
2018–19 B 4 Group stage 4 2 0 2 6 5 Same position 19th
2020–21 B 4 Group stage 6 5 1* 0 7 1 Rise 17th
2022–23 A 4 Group stage 6 0 1* 5 6 11 Fall 16th
2024–25 B to be determined
Total Group stage 16 7 2* 7 19 17 16th

Honours

Major competitions

Minor honours

Regional

Summary

Competition 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total
UEFA European Championship 0 0 1 1
China Cup 0 1 0 1
Total 0 1 1 2

See also

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