The Welsh football team, and their fans, have been praised by the First Minister for the way they have represented Wales during a thrilling Euro 2016 tournament in France.
Having qualified for the first time since 1958, Wales topped their group and progressed to the semi finals of the prestigious international football tournament. Over 90,000 Welsh fans attended one or more of the matches, with thousands more roaring the team on from homes, pubs and fan zones across Wales and France.
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said:
“Having waited 58 years for our place in a major football tournament, Euro 2016 certainly has not disappointed. Reaching the tournament itself was exceptional but the performances in France have really set Wales apart. It’s been a thrilling journey and one which has gripped the nation.
“But this has been more than a football tournament for Wales – it’s been an unprecedented opportunity for us to showcase that we are different. We have a unique culture, unique values and unique people – something which is now recognised by billions of people all over the world.
“For that, special praise must go our fantastic fans. Bordeaux, Lens, Toulouse, Paris, Lille and Lyon were all tuned into a sea of red as tens of thousands of Welsh supporters celebrated the team's heroics with passion, pride and a good nature which will live long in the memory.
“The performance on the pitch has been magnificent, the impression our fans have left on France and the rest of the world equally so – you’ve all done your country very, very proud.”
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy with responsibility for elite sport said:
“This Welsh football team seem to have made history with every passing match in recent weeks and months. From qualification to semi finalists, it’s been an incredible achievement.
“Chris Coleman has put together a special group who have proven time and again that with a blend of quality, team spirit and desire nothing is impossible. Together Stronger, Gorau Chwarae Cyd Chwarae - a fantastic legacy and an incredible message to send to any budding Gareth Bale or Jess Fishlock the length and breadth of Wales.
“Welsh football has been put well and truly on the world map. Congratulations to all involved and thank you for putting so many smiles on so many Welsh faces.”