South Wales Echo

It’s the front page Wales has been waiting 64 years for.

Despite boasting some of the greatest footballing talent of their generation - from John Charles to Ryan Giggs, and from Ian Rush to Gareth Bale - Wales has only ever once qualified for the World Cup finals… way back in 1958. Over the years there have been so many “nearly” moments, only for qualification hopes to be dashed at the last minute. But there has been a definite new air of optimism around our national side since the heroics of six years ago, when Wales - against all the odds - reached the semi-finals of the Euro 2016 tournament, in their first ever appearance. Yet another shot at the World Cup finals remained elusive…. until this year. And so it was a moment of incredible national pride that saw Wales reach this year’s finals after qualifying through a tortuous and agonising play-offs route. The front page - a poster wrap - encompasses the massive outpouring of joy, relief and pride felt by our South Wales readership at a team that has done so much to forge a brilliant connection with the nation not just through football, but also through community initiatives and working closely with Wales’ ‘Wal Goch’ (Red Wall) of supporters. It was a special moment, particularly in light of the challenges of the past two years, and one that was reflected with overwhelming pride on the Echo’s front page.