His team having never before qualified for a EURO, Chris Coleman described it as "an absolute dream – it means everything" after Wales secured progress from Group B.
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Wales had never before qualified for a UEFA European Championship – their most significant achievement being to reach the quarter-finals of the 1976 edition, when the tournament was still a four-team event – but the principality put that right in style in the UEFA EURO 2016 competition.
Chris Coleman's side remained unbeaten in their first eight Group B games, although by a strange quirk of fate it was after their first defeat – in Bosnia and Herzegovina in their penultimate fixture – that they found they had booked their place in France. If a 2-1 opening success in Andorra got Wales off to a winning, though slightly edgy start, subsequent victories in Israel and at home to Belgium were crucial, Gareth Bale proving a talismanic figure with six of his team's nine goals.
Chris Coleman, Wales manager
I thought we did enough to get something out of the game, but we were gutted coming off. We didn't know what the other result was, but now we do – and wow!
I can't explain to you what it means, but it means everything. It's been an absolute dream, an absolute dream. We've all dreamed about this. We've had a lot of disappointments – we've nearly got there, nearly got there, and haven't delivered. Now we have delivered.
Gareth Bale, Wales midfielder
It's probably the best loss of my life! It was a difficult game, but what matters is who qualified – and we've done it. This is right up there, it was one of my dreams. As a schoolboy everyone dreams of playing in a major tournament, and it's a dream come true – but it doesn't stop here. We've still got to do some business in France.
If we lose the ball we fight hard to get it back – we've fought deep and hard all qualification and this is what happens when you do that. It's nice to be able to test ourselves in the biggest tournaments in the world – and now we can do that.
Aaron Ramsey, Wales midfielder
What a great moment for Welsh football. What an achievement for these players – it's making history. We're finally going to a major tournament. It's not going to sink in for a while but I'm so proud. We're finally going! This group of players is quite special, their togetherness – we're really difficult to beat and we're looking forward to going to a major tournament.
This has been a dream of mine, to try and get Wales to a major finals, and we're finally going. We're only a small nation and we're over the moon. Thank you to all the supporters and everyone who's backed us. We're finally there – see you in France!
Best result: have never qualified
Coach: Chris Coleman
Leading scorers: all-time – Ian Rush (28); current – Gareth Bale (18)
Most appearances: all-time – Neville Southall (92); current – Chris Gunter (62)
Record EURO appearances
Overall: Gary Speed (28)
Final tournament: none
Record EURO goals
Overall: Gareth Bale (11)
Final tournament: none