‘We’ve avoided Belgium’ – Page ‘pretty pleased’ with Wales draw for Euro 2024
Rob Page has said that he is “pretty pleased” with Wales’ draw for the Euro 2024 qualification, after avoiding playing Belgium again for the tenth time in a decade.
Wales appear to have a good chance of securing qualification for a third-consecutive major tournament after they were drawn in Group D alongside 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia, Armenia, Turkey and Latvia.
Dragons boss Rob Page said: “I think we’re pretty pleased with the group. We’ve avoided some teams like Belgium, who we’ve played quite a bit in recent years.
“If you try to forecast what teams you’d prefer compared to others, we’re not far from it. Overall, pretty pleased.”
Last month Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne has said that he is “bored” of playing against Wales, as he prepares for the ninth meeting between the two sides in a decade.
But on the prospect of facing Croatia’s Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, Rob Page said: “What a talent. Like many respects to what we’ve gone in the team, ageing footballers now, but still with that quality that they’ve got.
“Gareth (Bale), Aaron (Ramsey) and Joe Allen have proved it time and time again with the quality they’ve got, and Modric is no different to that. He’s an unbelievable talent and will absolutely pose a threat.”
England have been drawn against European champions Italy in their qualifying group.
Italy beat Gareth Southgate’s team on penalties in the Euro 2020 final last summer and conquered them again 1-0 in the Nations League last month.
Italy manager Roberto Mancini welcomed the draw, saying: “I think it’s always good to play against England in Wembley. It’s a good thing.
“It don’t change nothing for us. Maybe Italy and England will be favourites in this group, but it’s important to play all the games 100 per cent.”
They will also face Ukraine, who they beat in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, along with North Macedonia and Malta.
Scotland, aiming to qualify for a second successive Euros, have been drawn against three-time European champions Spain in Group A, along with Erling Haaland’s Norway, Georgia and Cyprus.
Northern Ireland were in the fifth pot of seeds and will take on Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan and San Marino in Group H.
The Republic of Ireland face a tough task to qualify for their first major tournament since Euro 2016 after being drawn to face world champions France, along with the Netherlands, Greece and Gibraltar.
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