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Meet the Welsh dragons setting EURO 2016 ablaze

As Wales prepare to face Portugal, Mark Pitman talks us through Chris Coleman's surprise semi-finalists, including several cult heroes and a beard with its own Twitter account.

Wales are taking EURO 2016 by storm
Wales are taking EURO 2016 by storm ©Getty Images

Wayne Hennessey, goalkeeper
Age: 29
Club: Crystal Palace
Previous biggest achievement: English second-division champion with Wolves in 2008/09

A giant shot-stopper who is a significant presence behind the Welsh defence, he has the reach to claim the majority of corners that drift into his path.

Chris Gunter, defender
Age: 26
Club: Reading
Previous biggest achievement: part of the 2009/10 English second-tier team of the season

The most-capped player in the current squad (72) despite his age, the full-back has played senior international football with Wales for nearly a decade.

Neil Taylor, defender
Age: 27
Club: Swansea
Previous biggest achievement: promotion to the Premier League with Swansea City in 2010/11

Showing his attacking prowess during the tournament, left-back Taylor claimed his first international goal against Russia in the final Group B game.

James Collins, defender
Age: 32
Club: West Ham
Previous biggest achievement: FA Cup runner-up in 2005/06

An experienced central defender who is expected to replace the suspended Ben Davies for his first appearance of these French finals.

Coleman euphoric after Wales win
Coleman euphoric after Wales win

James Chester, defender
Age: 27
Club: West Brom
Previous biggest achievement: Scorer in the 2014 FA Cup final as Hull lost 3-2 to Arsenal

A revelation for Chris Coleman's team in France, the centre-back has put in a string of solid performances and produced a number of crucial tackles.

Ashley Williams, defender
Age: 31
Club: Swansea
Previous biggest achievement: English League Cup winner in 2012/13

The redoubtable captain of the side, centre-half Williams is manager Coleman's on-the-field lieutenant and always leads by example.

Allen: 'It's going to take something special to stop us'
Allen: 'It's going to take something special to stop us'

Joe Allen, midfielder
Age: 26
Club: Liverpool
Previous biggest achievement: 2015/16 UEFA Europa League runner-up

A fans' favourite for his tenacious displays, Allen has been one of Wales's star men during the tournament in a pivotal defensive midfield role.

Joe Ledley, midfielder
Age: 29
Club: Crystal Palace
Previous biggest achievement: three Scottish titles between 2012 and 2014

Sporting a beard with its own Twitter account, central midfielder Ledley has become a cult hero due to his miraculous recovery from pre-finals injury – and post-match dancing.

Highlights: Wales' first four games in France
Highlights: Wales' first four games in France

Jonathan Williams, midfielder
Age: 22
Club: Crystal Palace
Previous biggest achievement: promotion to the Premier League in 2012/13

An attacking midfielder who draws defenders with his mazy runs, Williams is tipped to cover for the banned Aaron Ramsey and will aim to create space for Gareth Bale and Co.

Hal Robson-Kanu, forward
Age: 27
Club: Unattached
Previous biggest achievement: 2011/12 English second-tier champion with Reading

Another cult figure among Wales fans, centre-forward Robson-Kanu is currently out of contract, but his efforts in France will not leave him short of offers.

Gareth Bale, forward
Age: 26
Club: Real Madrid
Previous biggest achievement: UEFA Champions League winner in 2013/14 and 2015/16

The Welsh talisman and headline maker, Bale combines modesty with sublime talent, putting in the defensive work as well as conjuring moments of magic at the other end.