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Wales now ‘planet’s most unpopular team’ as they face Ukraine says Daily Mail

03 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
Wales’ Gareth Bale (second left) prior to the UEFA Nations League match at Wroclaw Stadium, Wroclaw. Picture by Rafal Oleksiewicz / PA Wire

Wales are now the “planet’s most unpopular team” as they aim to end Ukraine’s dreams of reaching the World Cup, a Daily Mail columnist has said.

The winner of Sunday’s play-off final at the Cardiff City Stadium will join Iran, USA and England in group B of the World Cup in Qatar in November.

But football correspondent Craig Hope said that the pressure of beating a team that the rest of the world was rooting for had been too much for Scotland.

“Gareth Bale and Co will now take up the baton of the planet’s most unpopular team,” he said. “It proved too heavy for the Scots on Wednesday night in Glasgow.”

Of Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko he added that: “Perhaps only President Zelensky is a more popular public figure in Ukraine right now.”

Wales’ role as the bad guys on Sunday has been embraced by some in the Red Wall, with one suggesting they adopt the slogan ‘Cymru am Sith’ (the villains in Star Wars) rather than ‘Cymru am Byth’ (Wales Forever).

Others posted a GIF from the That Mitchell And Webb Look sketch show in which one character, a Nazi, suddenly realises that they are not the heroes of the story.

Other suggested that playing the bad guys did not end well for Wales at the Euros where, tasked with knocking out Denmark in the quarter-finals after Christian Eriksen’s on-field cardiac arrest in the group stages, they fell to a 4-0 defeat.

Former Wales striker Rob Earnshaw however has said that Robert Page’s current side must “put aside their compassion” for Ukraine in Sunday’s World Cup play-off final.

“As a Wales fan and wanting Wales to go through you’ve obviously got mixed emotions, because it’s the compassion you feel for Ukraine,” he said.

“But what I feel and I think what most people in Wales will feel on Sunday is we’re going to put that aside, because this is a football match and we’re in competition in football for those 90 minutes.

“It is very tough when you’re faced with something like this because it’s about humanity in this moment and I think everyone has felt so much for Ukraine. They feel the pain, they feel the pain of a country at war.”

Wales have not reached a World Cup since 1958. Ukraine have had a shorter wait, making it to the quarterfinals at the World Cup in Germany in 2006.


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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
27 days ago

Show them all the respect due any opposition nation, do the cards thing to create their flag before kick-off then beat them comprehensively.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
27 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Think we should be creating the Wales flag with any cards kerry – the two thousand ukrainian supporters in the stadium will be bringing plenty of their own flags im sure.

Llewz!
Llewz!
26 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Surely that doesn’t mean that we can’t make that statement of solidarity though?

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
27 days ago

Scotland lost on wednesday because they were comprehensively outplayed by their opponents – not because they were weighed down by being ‘the most umpopular team in the planet’ or any other pseudo psychological claptrap. And it will be the same on sunday – the best football team will win not the team most people watching on their tv screens around the world may be supporting. Ive been following the Wales football team for nearly 50 years and in all that time i can say with some certainty that probably the only people rooting for wales when theyve played have been… Read more »

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
27 days ago

Just imagine Ukraine winning against us on Sunday (I hope not!) and qualifying for the World Cup. They will then be in the same group as Iran, USA and … erm … England. That being the case, will the assorted Fleet Street hacks (Craig Hopeless et al.) be writing screeds when the Ukraine v England match comes around of England being the most unpopular team on the planet and root for an Ukrainean victory? Will the Prime Minister ask Gareth Southgate’s men to step aside and allow the men in yellow and blue to progress to the next stage? In… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
27 days ago

It’s a game. The Ukrainians want to get there by merit so, regardless of our emotions, the Welsh team should cast aside the surposed view of them (the DM was always going to bash us – it’s hardly a Welsh loving paper!) and just concentrate on winning.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
27 days ago

So if Ukraine qualify by being allowed to beat Wales then the Daily Mail would obviously expect England to do the same in the finals. And pigs might fly.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
27 days ago

It doesn’t matter if the rest of the planet is supporting Ukraine, it makes little difference when the game is in Cardiff in a stadium full of Wales supporters closed off from the rest of the world. As soon as that first whistle is blown, they are like any other opponent and its us vs them. No one else matters. Not the English rags, not their f’ing queen, no one else. All they can do is watch it on tv and those of us in the stadium will have an impact on the game.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
27 days ago

The Daily Mail will stop at nothing to spread hatred against us.
I can’t believe why anybody in Wales would buy this anti-Welsh, racist, disgraceful paper!

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
27 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

I have actually visited Ukraine 3 times and I found that they have a lot in common with us.
I am sure that the game between the two great nations will be played with mutual fellowship, respect and good sportsmanship.

Geraint AP Iorwerth
Geraint AP Iorwerth
27 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

A lot in common: do tell me

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
27 days ago

Your starter for 10:

A bullying neighbour to the East, perhaps?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
27 days ago

Their neighbour trying to wipe out their language and culture also.

Dewi
Dewi
26 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

The Ukraine also banned Russian in those parts of the Ukraine where it was the majority language.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
26 days ago
Reply to  Dewi

Thank you Dewi it just shows that you don’t swallow everything that Western MSM tells you. This conflict began in 2014 not after the recent Russian Invasion. A democratically elected government in The Ukraine was overthrown with CIA backing and some local Nazi elements. I sometimes come across comments about The Welsh Not by some contributors, well the post coupe government in Ukraine passed exactly the same Anti Russian language laws which effected The Russian speaking Majority in The Donbass. There was also persecution of Ethnic Russian’s by The Nazi Azov battalion which is now incorporated into the Ukraine military.… Read more »

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
27 days ago

They have their own language and culture that they are working hard to reintroduce after the fall of the USSR. An industrial heritage (including Donetsk, which was founded by a Welshman). A history tied to an eastern neighbour……. A resilience and will to survive.

I admire Ukraine very much and hope that we will emulate their courage and spirit.

defaid
defaid
27 days ago

Oh dear. The Daily Poisoner at it again.

The game itself is a straightforward competition but that doesn’t preclude expressing the support and friendship we all feel.

If you’re going to watch in person, take a second, Ukraine, flag with you. Get on Duolingo to learn the Ukrainian national anthem as well as our own. Painting a dragon on your cheek? Then paint the Ukrainian flag on the other.

Last edited 27 days ago by defaid
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

I’m sorry that Ukraine is suffering greatly due to Russian attacks, and it’s admirable to see their resolve as a nation, but I’m fed up that we as Wales are made to feel ashamed of winning a match that might eliminate them from appearing at the World Cup. The last European Championships Wales was treated appallingly by UEFA. We did a 6,000 mile round trip where England & Scotland played all but one matches at their home stadia. Worst still. Our fans were prohibited from travelling to support Wales due to Covid restrictions. And when we played against Denmark in… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Y Cymro
SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I agree. I feel bad for Ukraine but I don’t agree that politics should overshadow this game. I’m regretful that we are in the centre of a political storm regarding this match, whether we want it or not. The game should be decided on merit. I truly hope all the refereeing decisions on Sunday will be fair.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
26 days ago

Never mind what The Daily Fail says.As for Wales being the most unpopular team on the planet, what Planet is the columnist exactly taking about! Probably the Western Hemisphere alliance of NATO and Eu Member States who have imposed sanctions on Russia which only makes up 15% of The World’s Population.Its heartening to know that Wales will not be unpopular with 85% of The World’s Population.

Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
26 days ago
Llinoss
Llinoss
26 days ago

The boys have a good chance tomorrow. I’ll be celebrating hopefully a Welsh victory and then q few drinks for the queen’s jubilllee. Happy times!

Llinos
Llinos
25 days ago
Reply to  Llinoss

Hi Phil. Please stop stealing my name for your alter egos. It’s creeping me out.

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

I have nothing but solidarity with Ukraine 🇺🇦.
But on Sunday.
COME ON WALES
Cymru am Byth 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago

Trust the Daily Mail to stir up such hatred! This is designed to intimidate the Wales team and to put them off on Sunday.
The war in Ukraine should not overshadow this match. It is still just a game after all.

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