It was, said Chris Coleman speaking of Wales’ 3-0 defeat of Russia, the highlight of his career. This is not the first time in this remarkable Euro 2016 campaign the Wales manager has said this, and it might not be the last, but the bar is being raised to a high level.
“This is the best,” he confirmed. “It is all about points, as managers we are judged on results, but the performance tonight was really pleasing [as well]. I’m fortunate to be experiencing this. I played in some good [Wales] teams as a player and we went close but didn’t qualify. So to be a manager and see them execute everything we have worked on – I’m immensely proud.”
“I’ve never seen a better performance from any Welsh team. To do it on the back of a crushing defeat to England shows the character of this team, how brave the players are. I thought the players were tremendous, very brave in possession.”
As Coleman spoke the Welsh fans still could be heard in the stadium, singing long after the final whistle. He added: “As a nation geographically we are small, but if you are judging us on passion you can describe us as a continent.”
“It’s probably the best performance I’ve been involved in with Wales,” said Gareth Bale. “We started very well, we didn’t feel too nervous. To top the group, what more can you ask? We said we didn’t want to make the numbers up. Well, we can’t do any more than win the group. We look forward to seeing who we play next.”
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