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Ian Rush (right) narrowly misses the target against Yugoslavia in 1983 ©Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Best result: never qualified
Coach: Chris Coleman
Leading scorers: all-time – Ian Rush (28); current – Gareth Bale (11)
Most appearances: all-time – Neville Southall (92); current – Chris Gunter, Sam Ricketts (51)
Association formed: 1876
Nickname: Dreigiau (Dragons)
Where they play: Cardiff City Stadium; Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

More than half a century has passed since Wales last participated in a major tournament, the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, in which a John Charles-inspired team reached the quarter-finals. They did reach the last eight of the 1976 UEFA European Championship but lost a two-legged tie to Yugoslavia and missed out on the four-team final tournament. Since then a plethora of top-class footballers, among them Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs, have been unable to represent the Principality on the biggest stage; Gareth Bale will aim to inspire Wales to end the run and qualify for UEFA EURO 2016.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P94 W35 D18 L41 F114 A129
Final tournament: P0 W0 D0 L0 F0 A0
Qualifying: P94 W35 D18 L41 F114 A129

Yugoslavia were always Wales' bogey team in the UEFA European Championship, denying them a place in the four-team 1976 final tournament and then stopping the Dragons in their tracks in qualifying for the 1984 final tournament. Victory in the final home game would have taken Wales through but Mehmed Baždarević's 81st-minute leveller enabled the visitors to claim the qualifying berth.

Not until UEFA EURO 2004 did Wales come as close again. Facing Russia in the play-offs, hopes soared after a 0-0 draw in Moscow only for a 1-0 home defeat to deny them once more. UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying proved to be a more troubled campaign than most, with promising results on the pitch overshadowed by the death of manager Gary Speed in November 2011.

Memorable EURO matches
15/11/2003: Russia 0-0 Wales, UEFA EURO 2004 play-off
A fine defensive display made it advantage Wales before a home loss proved their undoing.

05/06/1991: Wales 1-0 Germany, EURO '92 qualifying
Ian Rush's 66th-minute winner gave Wales a deserved victory over the world champions.

14/12/1983: Wales 1-1 Yugoslavia, 1984 UEFA European Championship qualifying
Needing to win to secure qualification, Wales were thwarted by Baždarević's late equaliser.

Did you know?
Wales became only the third team to play an official international match when they lost 4-0 to Scotland in a friendly in Partick on 25 March 1876. Wales' entirely amateur squad included two lawyers, a timber merchant, a soldier, a stonemason, a miner and defender William Williams, who made chimney tops.

*Last updated on 07/01/14

Last updated: 28/01/14 20.02CET

Club record in UEFA competitions

  • Biggest win:
    25/10/1978, Wales 7-0 Malta, Wrexham
  • Biggest defeat:
    16/11/1994, Georgia 5-0 Wales, Tbilisi
  • Appearances in UEFA European Football Championship: 14
  • Player with most appearances: 31
    Gareth Bale (WAL)
  • Top scorers: 15
    Gareth Bale (WAL)