Wales may have lost to Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 on Saturday, but Gareth Bale & Co. were still celebrating.
Thanks to an Israel loss, the Welsh earned a berth in next summer’s European Championship, Wales’ first trip to the tournament.
Wales’ only appearance in a major tournament came way back at the 1958 World Cup, as yesterday’s result sparked celebrations throughout the country.
After the match, Bale, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014, said the EURO qualification ranks as one of the best moments of his career.
This is right up there to be honest, if not above [winning the Champions League].
Everyone knows how important Wales is to me and how proud we are to all play for our country.
This will probably go down as the best loss in my career. It’s obviously something we’ve been working hard for since I started and credit to all the boys, all the staff and all the fans – it’s a moment to enjoy.
Wales have played well in qualifying, winning five of nine matches while conceding just four goals. However, they have had some trouble offensively, averaging just one goal per game.
Bale has been responsible for almost all of the Welsh offense, scoring six of their nine goals. He has also assisted on two of the three that he didn’t score himself.
Heading into EURO 2016, Wales’ success is going to lie on the shoulders of Bale, by far their most dynamic and dangerous player. It’s going to be a lot of pressure, but a good performance would cement his place as one of the best Welsh footballers of all-time.