Chris Coleman has been appointed to succeed the late Gary Speed as the new manager of Wales.
Coleman, 41, said the chance to manage his country, for whom he won 32 caps as a player, was a "bittersweet" opportunity. He said: "It's probably the proudest moment of my career, to be able to lead my country, but it's bittersweet for me." He has signed at two-year contract with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
"I was very close friends with Gary for 30 years so I'm very proud but very sad," Coleman added. "I am excited but also a little subdued because of the circumstances. It won't be easy but it's something I'm looking forward to. I'm glad to be leading the charge. I'll be a very proud man if I can progress the team the way Gary was."
Coleman, who becomes the 12th permanent Wales boss, took his first managerial post at Fulham FC in 2003, initially as caretaker before being given the reins on a full-time basis. After leaving in 2007 he had a short spell in Spain at Real Sociedad de Fútbol before returning to England for a two-year stay in charge of Coventry City FC. His most recent job, with Larissa FC in Greece, ended this month.
A centre-back for Swansea City AFC, Crystal Palace FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and Fulham, Coleman's playing career was brought to an abrupt halt in 2002 by a serious car accident. Wales take on Belgium, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Scotland and Serbia in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying group. Before that they will aim to extend their run of three straight wins in a home friendly against Costa Rica in Cardiff on 29 February, a match being held in memory of Speed, whose international debut was against the Central American nation in 1990.
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