Wales had elevated into the top 10 of the world rankings on the way to qualifying for the 24-team field for the 2016 European Championship in France in the summer of 2016. As runners up in Group B behind world’s number one Belgium, Wales finished 6-3-1 with a positive seven goal differential. Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale was the star for Wales, scoring seven times to send the Welsh into the torunament.
This is the first European Championship for Wales since Ian Evans-led the team into the 1976 tournament and onto the quarterfinals. The loss to Yugoslavia was the last appearance in a major tournament for Wales, as Wales lost in the playoffs for the 2004 European Championship to Russia. The World Cup dry spell in Wales is even longer, as a 17-year-old from Brazil named Pele knocked the Dragons out in 1958 and the side has not been back since.