The forthcoming European Championship (Euro 2020) would mark the second time in the history of football that Wales qualified for the competition.
The first and the last time Wales made it into the competition was in 2016. In that year, the country stunned the world by reaching the semi-final stage of the competition.
Then, some of the current players of the team including Gareth Bale were still in their prime. Hence, the star power of the side was relatively high.
However, if the Euro 2020 was held in June 2020 instead of June 2021, Wales would have gone to the competition with a lot of injured players. Recall that Euro 2020 was planned to take place last summer but the impact of the coronavirus pandemic forced UEFA to postpone it to June 11, 2021.
The postponement of the bi-annual competition allowed Wales to have their injured players back. For instance, players like Aaron Ramsey and David Brooks recovered from injuries recently which would have kept them out of the competition if it was held last summer.
The absence of Aaron Ramsey in Euro 2020 would have been a big blow for the team due to what he brings to the table whenever he plays for the country.
Recall that during the qualification rounds of the Euro 2020, Ramsey helped the country to scale through by scoring two goals against Hungary in November 2019. If Hungary had won the away match then, Wales would not have made it to the competition.
Based on the availability of the country’s captain Gareth Bale, striker Kieffer Moore, and other forwards like Harry Wilson, David Brooks, Tyler Roberts, and Aaron Ramsey who could be used as a false 9, Daniel James believes that Wales will be a team to beat.
“For us, it’s just brilliant that everyone is involved,” James said.
“I know the Euros was supposed to be last summer and everyone was gutted (they were postponed), but it’s great for the players who are now all fit.
“We have a full squad this time and we’re all raring to go.
“We will definitely be feared. Whoever is put on the pitch attacking-wise, we have a great group…
“David and Aaron have had injuries over the past two years but when they have come into the squad they have been unbelievable”.
“I’ve only played for Wales with Aaron once or twice and he scored two goals against Hungary.
“We play a little different than at club football and it’s something I have grown into since I first came into the squad two and a half/three years ago.
“I work on shooting and crossing with both feet every day. In my early days, I got a lot of my assists for Oli McBurnie at Swansea from the left.
“It’s not new to my game. It’s always been there. Even for Wales, I have played left and right.
“Me and Gaz (Bale) have played both positions before and, if we do play on either side, we are ready and we know our job and roles.”
Wales fall in Group A of Euro 2020. The group will play their games in Italy (Rome/Baku). Other teams in their group are Turkey, Italy, and Switzerland. Their first game in the tournament will be against Switzerland.