Gareth Bale has labelled Wales 2-0 defeat at Bosnia-Herzegovina as the “best loss” of his career, after Euro 2016 qualification was sealed, despite the result.
Although Chris Coleman’s men suffered the first reverse of their qualifying campaign, Israel’s 2-1 defeat to Cyprus ensured they could not be caught in second position in Group B.
Subsequently, Wales’ place at a first major international tournament since 1958 was secured.
“This is probably the best loss of my life. It was a difficult game but at the end of the day all that matters is qualifying,” Bale told Sky Sports.
“This ranks right up there in terms of my career, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and every young boy dreams of playing at a major tournament. Now we want to go over there and do something in France.
“We’re like brothers out the pitch and there’s so much togetherness in this squad. It will nice to be able to test ourselves in the best tournament of the world, and we can’t wait.”
Coach Chris Coleman was also ecstatic at having led his country to the European Championships and sympathised with a shaky defensive showing from his charges.
“Coming off we didn’t know what the other result was, but now we do,” he told Sky Sports.
“I can’t explain it, it’s unbelievable. It’s been an absolute dream, it means everything for Wales.
“This was the first time we’ve been a bit flustered defensively – but I can understand it under the circumstances.
“We have only conceded four goals in nine games – two of them in one game – as a unit we’ve been fantastic.
“We’ve always nearly got there but now they’ve delivered.”