‘I’m more famous than Wales in the Middle East – now I hope Wales will be more famous than me’
Ian Rush has said that he hopes Wales’ qualification for the World Cup means that his country will now be more famous in the Middle East than he is.
The Liverpool record goalscorer said that one of the benefits of qualifying for the World Cup was that people in the region would realise that Wales was not part of England.
Speaking to the Times he said that he never expected to see Wales qualify for a World Cup in his lifetime and said that the lat manage Gary Speed and now Crystal Palace assistant manager Osian Roberts deserved a lot of credit for what happened last Sunday.
“I have travelled a lot to the Middle East over the past ten years and I often get asked if Wales is in England,” he said.
“No one is being disrespectful, but emphasising to the world that Wales is a country in its own right is one reason why getting to the World Cup finals is so important.
“When I go to the region or beyond, I am more famous than Wales. My hope now is that Wales will be more famous than me.”
He added: “The credit for change goes to many people, including Osian Roberts, who was the Wales technical director and is now the Crystal Palace assistant manager, Gus Williams, who is the talent manager, and the late Gary Speed, who as manager of the team took us up a level.”
He added that one of his own major regrets was never getting to play at a World Cup.
“We lost to Romania when a win would have got us to the 1994 finals in the United States,” he said.
“I remember speaking to John Charles and Cliff Jones, who were part of the Wales squad in Sweden in 1958, the last time we reached the finals.
“I never thought I would get the chance to see Wales play in the World Cup in my lifetime. It is a celebration.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.