FIFA World Cup 2022 Wales National Team|History

Wales national team — Wales is one of the teams from European regions to take part in the Qatar World Cup 2022. It passed the qualification finals against Ukraine. Wales has qualified for World Cup football for the second time in 2022.

It is a part of the United Kingdom and one of the early nations to play soccer/association football. Let’s read more about Wales men’s football history, FIFA World Cup history, players, squad, and many more.

Wales Football History

Wales is one of the early nations to play soccer/association football. It started playing football in the mid-18th Century. Wales formed their governing body Football Association of Wales (FAW) in 1876.

Eventually, it played its first international match against Scotland. Wales lost the match with four goals. In 1879, Wales played its first match against England and lost the match. Later in 1882, Wales made a victory over Ireland with a 7-1 goal.

Wales national team at 1958 World Cup
Wales national team at FIFA World Cup 1958. Source: The Guardian

Then, in 1884, the four Home nations (Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland) established British Home Championships. Wales won 12 titles in their sixty appearances of the championships.

In 1910, FAW joined FIFA but the British associations and FIFA’s differences, British nations withdrew from FIFA in 1928. They re-joined FIFA in 1946.

Wales then participated in the 1950 and 1954 World Cup qualifiers but could not make it into the selection. Wales made their selection for the Sweden World Cup and ended sixth in the tournament. Since then, it did not qualify for 60 years at the World Cup football.

Furthermore, FAW is a founding member of UEFA but could not qualify for the tournament until 2016. Wales surprised European football fans in 2016 and reached to semifinals of the tournament.

Wales national team at Euro 2016
Wales national team at the 2016 Euro Championships. Source: Sky Sports

It lost the match against eventual winner Portugal in the semifinals and finished fourth. Likewise, it was out of the knockout round at the 2020 Euro Championships. The Welsh team has also participated in two editions of the UEFA Nations League.

Wales’ FIFA World Cup History

Wales men have a poor score in the FIFA World Cup history. It missed the first three World Cups due to withdrawal from FIFA. Wales first appeared in the 1958 World Cup. It tied all three matches of the group stage against Hungary, Sweden, and Mexico. Wales then defeated Hungary in the pre-quarterfinals. But, in the quarter-finals, it lost a match to Brazil.

Since then, it waited sixty-four years to represent in the World Cup football. In the Qatar World Cup qualifying campaign, Wales was second in the list behind Belgium and advanced to the semifinals. And in the semifinals, it defeated Austria and Ukraine in the finals. Wales team is one of the potential teams at the 2022 World Cup.

Top 5 Welsh Footballers of All Time

Many footballers have led Wales into international tournaments for a long time. Here are the top five players from the Wales national team who are not popular at home but also outside Wales.

Gareth Bale: Gareth Bale is one of the greatest Welsh footballers of this era. He plays for the Major League Soccer (MLS) club Los Angeles FC. He is the highest scorer in Wales with 40 goals in his 106 appearances. Bale previously played for EPL club Tottenham Hotspurs and Spanish Giant Real Madrid. He has continuously played for the nation since 2006.

Chris Gunter: Chris Gunter is another name of the Welsh greatest footballers of all time. He is the most capped player and has capped 109 to date since 2007. Gunter plays professional soccer from the AFC Wimbledon in the second division English Football League (EFL).

Wayne Hennessy: Hennessy is a goalkeeper of the Wales national team and EPL club Nottingham Forest. He represented Wales in UEFA Championship in 2016 and 2020. He is often considered one of the all-time greatest goalkeepers from Wales.

Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs
Wales’ two greatest footballers are Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs. Source: The Mirror

Ryan Giggs: Welsh former footballer and team manager Ryan Giggs is one of the greatest players ever born in Wales. He is also considered one of the greatest players from 1990-2010. He spent his entire club football games in Manchester United from 1990-2014. Giggs played 64 caps and scored 12 goals to date.

John Charles: William John Charles was one of the greatest all-round footballers of Great Britain. Charles was a crucial part of the Wales team at the 1958 FIFA World Cup. He played for several clubs including Swansea, Leeds United, Juventus, and Roma. Charles played for the Wales national team from 1950 to 1965.

Qatar World Cup 2022 Wales Squad

Wales will be a part of Group B in the Qatar World Cup. Wales will face England, Iran, and United States in the group match. The Welsh team played its first match against the United States on 21 November 2022 at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan. This Winter World Cup’s opening game will kick off on November 20 when Qatar will face Ecuador as its opponent.

Rob Page is the current manager of the team who succeeded former manager Ryan Giggs in 2022. In Qatar World Cup, many seniors and experienced players like Gareth Bale, Chris Gunter, Wayne Hennessy, and a few young players like Brennan Johnson and Tyler Roberts will mark in the field. The Welsh World Cup squad will reveal in October 2022.