What a 2013 it has been for Welsh football.

Since the turn of the year, Swansea have won an English cup final at Wembley, Cardiff have won promotion, the national side could still mathematically be at the World Cup and Gareth Bale looks set to become the world's most expensive player. Welsh football is clearly in a very good place at this moment in time. 

Having been seeded in the bottom pot for the World Cup qualifying draw in July 2011, the national team has done considerably better than expected, defeating Scotland both home and away.

Chris Coleman's side could mathematically still qualify via the play-offs, and although that is very unlikely, that is still a huge achievement for a side given no chance at the start of the campaign.

Wales' success is largely down to Real Madrid target Gareth Bale, who has scored four of his country's six goals in Qualifying Group A. The Tottenham star looks set to break the world transfer fee record in a £100 million move to the Spanish capital.

Whether he does leave or not, Bale has proved that Wales is more than capable of producing world-class players, with a certain Ryan Giggs another Welshman to have graced the game over the last two decades. 

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Celtic's Joe Ledley should both feature in this season's Champions League, making the point that Coleman does have talent at his disposal.

Wales has enjoyed plenty of success at club level as well this past year. Swansea fans have relished their second season in the Premier League and even topped that off with a League Cup final win at Wembley. 

That earned them a Europa League place and having beaten Malmo 4-0 in their qualifying round first leg on Thursday night, they look set to advance to the play-off round.

Given all of Swansea's success, you might have expected Cardiff City fans to be looking across the country in a jealous rage. That wasn't the case, however, as the Bluebirds enjoyed a terrific season themselves in winning the Championship in style. The side from the Welsh capital led the league from November to the final day and will finally make the step up to the top flight.

If Cardiff can follow Swansea and make their stay at the top level of the English game a lengthy one then Welsh football could go from strength to strength. 

Having broken their transfer record twice already to bring in Andreas Cornelius and Steven Caulker they seem to mean business.

With Bale perhaps appearing in the latter stages of the Champions League as well, the national side’s star can only get better.

A good finish to this World Cup qualifying group and Wales can enjoy a much better seeding than Pot Six when the campaign for Euro 2016 gets underway.

This all begs the question: could we see Wales in France for the European Championships? We will soon find out…

 

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Topics:
Football
Wales
Gareth Bale
Swansea City
Cardiff City