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Watch: Rhys Ifans’ magnificent rallying cry to Wales players

20 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Rhys Ifans delivers an impassioned speech to the Wales squad (Credit: John Smith/FAW)

Wales unveiled their secret weapon as they prepared to face Finland – actor Rhys Ifans.

The House of the Dragon star who made his name in movies such as Twin Town, Notting Hill, and The Amazing Spider-Man, delivered the performance of his life with a stunning motivational speech to the Wales squad.

Joining the players on Monday night at their Vale of Glamorgan base he stood before the assembled squad and left them in awe with a rallying cry that took in Welsh history, culture and the Welsh players’ place in the pantheon of Cymru greats.

The Football Association of Wales had previously invited Michael Sheen into the camp in September 2022 ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, where he gave an extended version of his monumental ‘Sons of Speed’ speech from TV show ‘A League of Their Own’, which went viral with millions of views.

Taking up the mantle, Rhys Ifans mined raw passion and Welsh hwyl, reminding the players of the nation’s tumultuous history and how they represented those of us here and those who came before.

His voice trembling with emotion he said: “No one and nothing have done it to the extent that you have done it and are doing it. There have been poets and actors and politicians and rock ‘n’ rollers, but no one and nothing unifies us in the way you do and make us feel safe to show our hopes and dreams. They live in you.”

As his final heartfelt words faded, there was a huge round of applause from the Welsh squad and backroom staff who seemed taken aback and genuinely moved by the powerful speech, so eloquently delivered by one of Wales’ greatest actors.

Ifans spent time sitting and talking, laughing and joking with the squad. He also sat down for a meal with the players, however we cannot confirm or deny that there were hot dogs for tea.

He then happily posed for pictures with everybody and was overjoyed when presented with his own shirt with his name on the back signed by the players.

If words and passion are the lingua franca of football, then Wales are the richest team on earth.

Da iawn Rhys Ifans. Da iawn indeed.


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3 months ago

Does Martin know Rhys is cutting in on his turf?

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
3 months ago

A lovely heartfelt speech.

Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndŵr
3 months ago

I was crying watching that 😢😭 Extraordinarily powerful speech by one of many who are so passionate about their Welshness. My description feels woefully inadequate.

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