Wales star Joe Allen says their stunning Euro 2016 campaign has to become the benchmark as he looks to use the momentum gathered from the campaign to spur him and his team-mates on in World Cup qualifying.
Qualifying for the European Championship in France saw Wales end a 58-year wait to reach the finals of a major tournament and manager Chris Coleman and his men surprised as they went all the way to the semi-finals after topping a group including England and Russia.
Portugal eventually ended their run with a 2-0 win, but Liverpool midfielder Allen says that does not have to mean the end of Wales’ improvement.
“We can keep this momentum going,” Allen said.
“We are all very proud of what we have done and hope this is the benchmark and that we can look forward to more future success.”
Captain Ashley Williams echoed those sentiments as the team were paraded around Cardiff on their return home, saying he is dreaming of even bigger successes in the future.
“We’ve said to ourselves on the bus, imagine if we had won the tournament. Because looking at the streets, it feels like we have,” the Swansea City man said.
“After the Russia World Cup hopefully it will be the same again, but with a trophy.”