Gareth Bale hails ‘greatest result in the history of Welsh football’ after World Cup qualification
Gareth Bale hailed the “greatest result in the history of Welsh football” after his side beat Ukraine 1-0 to reach the World Cup for the first time in 64 years.
The Wales captain hinted Wales’ triumph will force him to put any thoughts about a possible retirement on hold.
Bale told Sky Sports with a smile “for a little bit”, adding: “It’s the greatest result in the history of Welsh football.
“I’m just delighted we are going to a World Cup. It means everything, it’s what dreams are made of. I’m speechless. I’m so glad we’ve done it for these amazing fans.”
The former Tottenham and Real Madrid forward said he had nothing left to give when replaced by Wilson in the 83rd minute.
He added: “It was difficult. I haven’t played too much football these last three or four weeks because of my back spasm, but the most important thing was to get through.
“I give my all. I was running on empty but we’ve got good people on the bench to do a good job.”
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who made nine saves to help repel Ukraine, ranked his display in Cardiff as his best for his country.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s absolutely incredible. Not just for me, everybody who’s been on this pitch tonight, absolutely amazing. The lads who didn’t get on, the staff, everyone, fully deserves this through this campaign.
“I probably think that’s my best game in a Welsh shirt to be honest, at such a key stage, obviously.
“But we have to give credit to Ukraine, they’re a fantastic team. Gareth, unbelievable free-kick again, so I’m absolutely buzzing.
“It’s unexplainable. He’s so dangerous at free-kicks. When he’s on the field stuff happens and for me he’s an amazing talent and a joy to watch.”
Head coach Rob Page saluted his players and the fans after seeing them clinch a place at the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958.
Page said: “It’s unbelievable. I’m so proud of these boys. They thoroughly deserved that. The one thing they needed was a World Cup and they’ve got it.
“The fans were incredible. They’re the best supporters in world football, I’m telling you. They helped us from the first minute and deserve all the credit.
“I was more excited than nervous before kick-off because I trust these lads. I see them in training and have complete faith in these lads.”
Defender Ben Davies described Wales’ qualification for the World Cup finals as “a dream come true”.
He told Sky Sports: “There was a lot of emotion in this game, but we stood up brilliantly. Every challenge they threw at us we dealt with.
“It’s incredible, a dream come true, as a squad we’ve worked so hard for this. We may not have the most talented group, but we give it everything we’ve got.”
Aaron Ramsey added: “It’s unbelievable! Little old Wales at the World Cup. To get to three major tournaments means so much to me and to top it off with a World Cup, it’s amazing.”
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You have to feel for the Ukranians but today belongs to Wales. Well done to them !
Paul Bodin said of his 1994 penalty miss: “I have to live with that hurt, and it never quite goes away”. You can let it go now, Paul.
Little old Wales at the World Cup. Credit to the nation. Heddwch from Independent tropical Merthyr.
Watching BBC News after the game was over – our Victory didnt even make the headlines…!
The woman reading news on the Beeb News Channel touched on the story. No joy at Welsh win just a kind of misery that “poor old brave Ukraine had been defeated”. London media are a real shower.
In fairness it was on BBC Breakfast in the morning. Regional and national. The national report was the usual patronising “pat on the head” for little Wales, but it was there.
I’ll bet the Daily Heil is furious though. Their attempts to paint Cymru as the most hated nation in world football didn’t really catch on, except within their own