I wanted to take a brief moment to talk about Wales. Not the country itself, but their international football team.
Pretty far from having any Welsh ancestry, I was blown away by their performance against Belgium in the quarter final of Euro 2016 last night. You could say it was a bit of a David (no pun intended) and Goliath moment, but that would also be doing Wales a disservice.
This was more than a lucky hit. This was about team spirit, a belief system and confidence in the face of adversity.
Wales have one world class player in their squad, but equal to that they also have a group of players that provide work as a unit. They understand each other on the park and play for each other no matter the opponent.
Where this has come from is intriguing because it has us all captivated. We all want some of that for our teams right now.
The bond between Chris Coleman and his players yielding positive results. We often hear thst football is a team sp I rt but we rarely see so well executed from top to bottom.
It has been seen elsewhere in this competition just when the tournament was beginning to look a little bland or marred with hooliganism. Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Iceland all added to the entertainment of this competition not because they were great but because they demonstrated performances that had us all believing the impossible.
I’m a Scotland man it must be said but there are times when other countries capture your heart. Republic of Ireland did it for me against Italy and Wales went one step further against number two in the FIFA rankings, Belgium.
It’s worth noting that in the last two tournaments that Belgium have reached they got to the quarter finals.For a team who receive regular plaudits and praise though, they have yet to convince me.
They enjoyed a decent qualification from the group phase but they didn’t make me sit up and take notice as other teams have. The first half against Wales was all theirs but the second wasn’t and that was where the game was won.
Don’t let that take away from a marvellous achievement by Wales though. They were more than worthy of this victory.
Can they get past Portugal? I don’t see why not.
If you’re Welsh you probably feel unstoppable right now. That’s a rare and powerful thing in any sport.
90 minutes from your first ever final. Wow, what a feeling that must be.
Congratulations Wales. You are there on merit.
A special mention for ex-Celts Joe Ledley and Jason Denayer on each team. Someone had to lose!