Football in Wales has gone under the radar in the past few years with disappointing results for the national team and no Premier League or European clubs. This year, Welsh football gained a great boost with the most expensive footballer in history becoming a Welshman.
It is not just off the field that Wales has been successful, Swansea City are continuing to solidify their place in the Premier League. Not only that, but they also became the first Welsh team to win the English League Cup. So far, they have looked a class act in Europe as well winning their first two games against tough opposition.
Just down the road, Cardiff have finally reached the Premier League after so many years of playoff disappointment and it is looking very good for football in South Wales. The Bluebirds have been determined to make the most of the opportunity of playing in the top flight and have had impressive wins already against Manchester City and Fulham.
In the lower leagues, Newport County ended a 25 year absence from the Football League with promotion to League Two.
Clearly, football in South Wales is progressing at an unbelievable rate and with big investment into Cardiff City from Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan, the progress is likely to continue.
So, football in the South of the country is clearly on the up at the moment, but what about the national team? Gareth Bale became the most expensive footballer in history this summer when he completed his £85 million move to Real Madrid and this was a proud moment for the country and an idol like Bale will certainly inspire the next generation of Welsh talent.
It was a disappointing qualifying campaign for Wales but the future looks very bright. 16-year-old Harry Wilson became the youngest player ever to represent Wales this week, coming on as a substitute on Tuesday night in Belgium.
Incidentally the record was previously held by none other than Bale himself - will he be able to follow in his footsteps? Wales can also take positives out of two good results in their recent matches, a hard-earned 1-0 win over Macedonia and a fantastic draw in Belgium.
It has evidently been an excellent year for Welsh football and could well be on of their best in history. Despite this, I can see 2014 being an even better year with Gareth Bale making history in Madrid and the start of the vital Euro 2016 qualification campaign.
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