Chris Coleman [Wales Manager] says he’s amazed at the large turnout from fans who were on ground at the celebratory Cardiff welcome parade given to the Euro 2016 squad on their return Friday 8 July. This is their first time to feature in a major tournament since the last 1958 World Cup.
Wales team led by Real Madrid striker Gareth Bale performed beyond expectations at the tournament, to the admiration of every proud citizen.
A large number of fans lined up on Westgate Street cheering the Wales team home.
Excited fans greeted the players and backroom staff at Cardiff Airport before the squad went on to an open-top bus parade through the city, chanting songs and waving national flags.
The excited coach said: “They’ve been outstanding. We never imagined we would get a welcome like this. It’s unbelievable.
“Cardiff Airport was incredible with people lining the road all the way into the city and it just shows how proud a nation we are.
“We have to keep marching on now and this group of people will go forward and achieve more.
“It’s our job to make sure Welsh football is never the same again. We have to show the same hunger and desire we have.
“There’ll be 30,000 screaming welsh men, women and children at the stadium and it doesn’t get any better than that.
“This is what it’s all about, this is why the players work so hard to represent their country.
“They knew there was a nation waiting for them. I’m so proud, they didn’t want to let their country down and they certainly didn’t.”
Wales was eliminated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal at the semi-final stage of the European Championships.
Super striker Gareth Bale has this to add: “We’d like to say thank you to the supporters for being there through the journey. We’ll never forget it. This has been a dream for us but I think we have more to give as well.
“We were disappointed after the Portugal game but we can see what we’ve achieved as a nation and it’s great to see what it means to everyone. These are just amazing scenes, to share it with these fans is just incredible.”
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey was also moved by the welcome home party and this is what he said: “To see all the support has been phenomenal.
“Because we have been away from it we haven’t seen the impact it has had back here.
“We have heard from our families and stuff like that…but this is the first time we are experiencing any of this and it is really special.”
One member of the squad who missed out on the homecoming was midfielder Joe Ledley, who is in Ibiza to get married.
“We are so proud of what we have done,” said captain Ashley Williams.
“We would never have thought it would create this big an impression.
“It is quite emotional really, a feeling of pride at what the lads and the staff have achieved.”
Image: Ashley Williams