Football

Wales' meteoric rise continues

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Wales' meteoric rise up the world rankings continued with a scrappy yet priceless win against minnows Cyprus in Nicosia on Thursday night.

Wales went into the European qualifier knowing that a win, and then a victory against Israel in Cardiff on Sunday evening, would secure them a place at the European Championship next year, for the first time in their history.

Once again, the star of the show was Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, who popped up with an 82nd minute goal, rising highest in the box to head home Jazz Richards' cross. There was scenes of sheer ecstasy from Chris Coleman and his valiant men as the realisation that they were three points away from achieving something they never had.

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And, if they qualify, Wales will be optimistic going into the competition, because as it currently stands they are top of a group that contains the top ranked team in Europe and second ranked team in the world Belgium.

And they'll be hoping they can keep players like Bale and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey fit, because it is the performances of these two players in particular that have aided Wales' qualifying campaign, with Bale netting six times in their seven games so far, which takes him up to 18 goals in 51 caps and moves him up to sixth in Wales' all time scorers list - just 11 behind the legendary Ian Rush.

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Moving on up 

Wales’ performance in the qualifiers now means that they are the ninth ranked team in the world, which in fact means that right now, they are better than England who sit in 10th and a host of other well-known footballing countries like the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France.

So, can Wales really do well at next year's Championships in France?

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Topics:
Football
Real Madrid
Wales
Gareth Bale

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