***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS IN MY STREET ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about 6 periods away (depending on your own set of menstrual circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Wales, which has qualified for the World Cup once, in 1958.
Gareth Bale. Everyone else. In that order.
Nickname: The Dragons
FIFA Ranking: 18 (Mar 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: European playoff final v Ukraine, June 5, 2022
Gareth Bale. Mark Hughes and Ian Rush and Vinnie Jones and Gary Speed and Neville Southhall and Aaron Ramsey and Gary Speed and Chris Coleman and the rest of the 3.1 million Welsh population. In that order.
That is the order of importance of people to the history of the Welsh national team. Sure, the team did make the 1958 FIFA World Cup (without Bale), but it goes down as the lamest ever World Cup qualification of any nation.
The team were not good enough to claim a World Cup spot initially, after they finished second in their group to Czechoslovakia. This should have eliminated them, but they were to be granted a possible lifeline by FIFA. After Egypt and Sudan refused to play Israel in response to the second Arab-Israeli war, and Indonesia’s request to play the Israelis on neutral territory was denied, the world governing body announced a one-off playoff between Israel and one of the second-placed teams in European qualifying. Initially, Wales weren’t luck enough to claim the spot, but after Belgium pulled out, the Welsh were handed the playoff spot. They defeated Israel 4-0 on aggregate, advanced to the World Cup and then copped a goal by the then-17 year old Pele– his first ever World Cup goal. Pfft lame.
Then for the next 60 years, Hughes, Rush, Jones, Speed and co. did fuck all, until Gareth Bale singlehandedly wrenched Wales out of the dirt and carried them to two consecutive European Championships (a semi-final in 2016 and Round of 16 in 2020) and then possibly to their second World Cup in 2022. All the while not really giving a stuff about club football but instead giving all stuffs to either the national team or his short game on the links.
Bale. Everyone else.
If he gets Wales to the World Cup in Qatar, if he doesn’t. If he retires this year or if he doesn’t. If he does actually triple-bogey for the first time in his life soon or not. When it comes to the history and future of the Wales national team, it’ll always be in that order.
One to watch: Gareth Bale destroying a corpse wearing Javier Zanetti’s shirt, Inter Milan vs Tottenham, 2011 career
In the 2010/2011 Champions League, Tottenham went all the way to the quarter-finals, but at Milan’s San Siro back in October 2010, Gareth Bale exploded onto the European stage, scoring a sensational hat-trick in a 4-3 loss. The goals were stunning, but the shine was dulled a little by the fact that Bale’s direct opponent, whom he blew out while scoring his first two, was nothing more than a decrepit corpse by that stage. Nonetheless, it was Bale’s hat-trick and in particular his initial brace of identical brain-exploding efforts despite the best efforts of a decomposed bag of Argentinian bones that propelled him into the European and international spotlight. On behalf of Gareth Bale, thank you, decrepit and lifeless bag of bones!
The Highpoint: Quarter Finals, 1958 FIFA World Cup
While the Welsh team did qualify for the 1958 Finals in the lamest fashion imaginable, they ended up actually showing out. The team went undefeated in the group stage with draws against Hungary, Mexico and Sweden, before defeating the Hungarians in a playoff (which had lost in the final at the previous edition) and then only just succumbed to Brazil 1-0, being knocked out by Pele’s first ever World Cup goal. Nice save, Wales.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – European Qualifiers – Playoff Final (path A)
5 June 2022
WALES 🐲 x 🇺🇦 UKRAINE
UEFA Nations League – Group Stage
8 June 2022
WALES 🐲 x 🇳🇱 NETHERLANDS
11 June 2022
WALES 🐲 x 🇧🇪 BELGIUM
14 June 2022
NETHERLANDS 🇳🇱 x 🐲 WALES