The only way Wales can top their Euro 2016 success is to get to the final of the 2018 World Cup, the team’s manager Chris Coleman said as he picked up an OBE at Buckingham Palace.
Coleman, 46, received his honour from the Prince of Wales for services to football, and admitted he “didn’t have the courage” to ask Charles whether his allegiances lay with England or Wales, despite often pondering it.
The Wales coach returned from France a hero last summer after his team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, where they lost out to eventual winners Portugal.
Coleman said it was nerve-wracking picking up his award from Charles, adding: “It reminded me of … like if I was a young boy going to see my headmaster again, if I’m honest.”
He said Charles was “very knowledgeable”, but said they did not discuss which country the prince supports on the football pitch.
Coleman said: “I didn’t have the courage to ask him. I answered whenever he asked me a question. I never asked him any questions.
“I’ve often wondered actually, because obviously it’s tough for him. He’s the Prince of Wales at the end of the day. But I think he probably supports both.”
Coleman said he was accepting the honour on behalf of Wales, and said he never imagined that less than a year on from Euro 2016 he would be at Buckingham Palace picking up a gong.
“In my job I’m representing my country. So that’s why I feel like I’m here today representing a whole nation,” he added.
“I hope they’re as proud as I am to receive it. I’m sure they will be. Twelve months ago I could have never envisaged that I’d be here receiving an award,” he said.
Coleman said he is not sure whether people believe him when he tells them he genuinely believed “anything was possible” at Euro 2016.
Looking ahead to the World Cup, he said: “I’ve got so much belief in my players.”
Coleman said he has faith that his team can “produce something special”, and asked if he thinks Wales could be World Cup 2018 winners, he replied: “Who knows?”
Smiling, he added: “It’s the only way we’re going to top what we’ve just done, so we’ve got to get to the final.”
Wales face Serbia next month in a Group D World Cup qualifier in Belgrade.
Euro 2016 was the Welsh side’s first appearance at a major tournament for 58 years, and fans were overjoyed at their team’s remarkable success.
Source : DailyPost