Thursday 27 October 2016

Chris Coleman: Wales fans have been waiting a decade for a chance like this

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

Wales manager Chris Coleman says his players have embraced the moment Welsh football has been waiting a decade for.

There have been plenty of heartbreak stories down the years when the likes of Neville Southall, Mark Hughes, Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs failed to grace the major tournament their talents deserved.

But not since a Euro 2004 play-off defeat to Russia have Wales been in the running to add another major finals to their solitary appearance at the 1958 World Cup.

Beating Belgium, the world’s second-placed team on the FIFA rankings, tonight is a tall order but victory would take Wales three points clear at the top of Group B and within touching distance of the European Championships in France next summer.

“This is what we have always wanted,” Coleman said ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“The difference in this camp is the attention we have had and the interest from outside.

“It is huge. We have said for a long time we wanted to play in front of full houses against the best teams in the world – playing to do something special.”

Belgium and Wales are both locked on 11 points at the halfway stage of the campaign with the Red Devils’ superior goal difference giving them top spot.

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