The rise of Wales and Romania is a tale of two small football teams who achieved the glory to be in the elite group of the football playing country. Wales and Romania are not two countries who are renowned for their football teams but after leaving the whole world in the shock, they managed to attain the 10th and 8th rank in the FIFA ranking. While Wales rose from 117th, Romania rose from their worst ever ranking 57th in just last 5 years.
The Reason Behind The Rise of Wales and Romania
There is no doubt that they both done a great job to rise so much up in this little time. They both rose from their worst FIFA ranking to the elite top 10 and they are going to be played the roles of underdogs in the race to be the best in the Europe, Euro 2016.
The Rise Of Wales:
In 2010 Wales was 117th in the FIFA ranking and that is the time when Gary Speed had taken the duty of the manager of the national football team of the Wales. The team was uninspiring, dull and ageing but under Speed there was something special has started. He started to give confidence and freedom to the young-stars, as he made Aron Ramsey the captain at the age of just 20. Under his friend like behavior Wales’ squad playing like bearing a fire within them. In less than a year they become 45th in the ranking. But the Wales’ football faced a major blow as the beloved coach Gary Speed died on 27 November 2011. But the team went on and found their new manager in Chris Coleman and it was Coleman who continued to carry the legacy of Speed and justifying the deeds of his former. He implemented few new tactics and that become fruitful for the team.
Image Credit : The Guardian
As the Wales team was lacking a good defense he adopted the 5-3-2 system making a 5 man wall in front of the goal. He also put technically sound Aron Ramsey and Joe Allen in the midfield and it make the Wales Wizard Gareth Bale to roam free in the field and show his magic. The Wales’ hidden ace under the sleeve is Joe Ledley, who plays from just behind of Ramsey and Allen and he holds the whole team together. This game plan started to produce excellent results and gradually this becomes the pillar in rise of Wales.
Wales’s Hope in Euro 2016:
It seems to be the best times of Wales they are in a good winning momentum and the team is look like in a brilliant stage. They also have arguably their best player of all time Gareth Bale in their team. Wales also in a respectable group and the new 24 team format of Euro will be another plus-point for Wales. So if there is no calamity then it is definite that Wales will play in Euro 2016.
Wales’ Current Squad:
GK: Wayne Hennessey, Owain Fôn Williams, Danny Ward
DF: Chris Gunter, Neil Taylor, Jazz Richards, James Chester, Ashley Williams (captain), Adam Matthews, Adam Henley
MF: Joe Allen, Andy King, Aaron Ramsey (vice-captain), Shaun MacDonald, Joe Ledley, David Vaughan, David Cotterill
FW: Hal Robson-Kanu, Gareth Bale, Simon Church, Sam Vokes, Tom Lawrence.
The Rise Of Romania:
Like Wales Romania also fell to their record lowest in 2011 in the FIFA ranking. They had two disastrous campaigns in the qualifying round of the World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 while they have the potential to go far beyond the qualifying round. Though didn’t lose their hopes on their coach Victor Pițurcă and the team didn’t qualify in world cup 2014. Atlast Anghel Iordănescu come as the manager of the team and take strong steps to improve the team quality and for the first time since 2008 Romania started a successful campaign in qualifying stages of Euro. They won against group favorite Greece and their form continues through the group stages. Now they are group topper. Their tremendous form makes them a place in the pot 1 of the FIFA world Cup 2018 qualifying round.
Romania’s Hope in Euro 2016:
Romania is now on the top of the group and simply in a fiery form so there will be no hindrance in the path of Romania’s playing in the euro and if the form continues the team should surprise the whole football world.
Romania’s Current Squad:
Gk: Ciprian Tătărușanu, Silviu Lung Jr.
DF: Gabriel Tamaș, Vlad Chiricheș, Paul Papp, Dragoș Grigore ,
Cristian Săpunaru, Cosmin Moți, László Sepsi, Bogdan Vătăjelu
MF: Gabriel Torje, Mihai Pintilii, Alexandru Maxim, Alexandru Chipciu, Ovidiu Hoban, Adrian Popa, Andrei Prepeliță, Claudiu Bumba, Eric Bicfalvi
FW: Bogdan Stancu, Claudiu Keserü, Florin Andone
The rise of Wales and Romania is truly a remarkable example in football history as it will inspire much more small football playing countries to dream more and also to take the extra step beyond their capability to rise to elite group of the football teams.