Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and Wales is no exception. With a proud footballing tradition stretching back to the 19th century, Welsh football teams have made their mark on the sport both in their native country and around the world. This article will provide a comprehensive timeline of Welsh football teams, detailing their successes, failures, and contributions to the game. From the earliest days of Welsh football to the modern era, this article will take a look at the rich history of Welsh football clubs and players. The first recorded Welsh football team was formed in 1877 in Cardiff.
This team, known as Cardiff City Football Club, was formed as an amateur club. Since then, many other football teams have been formed in Wales, including Swansea City, Wrexham, Newport County, and Merthyr Town. In 1924, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) was formed to govern the sport in Wales. The FAW has since become a member of FIFA, the international governing body of football.
The 1950s saw the formation of two professional leagues in Wales: the Welsh Premier League and the Welsh League. The Welsh Premier League consists of 12 teams competing for the title, while the Welsh League is made up of 22 clubs. The 1960s marked a period of success for Welsh clubs in international competitions. In 1965, Cardiff City reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, while Swansea City reached the semi-finals of the same competition in 1969. In recent years, Welsh clubs have seen success in both domestic and international competitions.
Swansea City won the League Cup in 2013 and reached the Europa League semi-finals in 2016. Cardiff City have also enjoyed success on the domestic front, winning promotion to the Premier League in 2018. In 2020, there are currently 12 teams playing in the Welsh Premier League, with Cardiff City, Swansea City, and Wrexham among them. The league is currently sponsored by JD Sports and is one of the most competitive leagues in Europe.
Domestic SuccessSince the formation of the Football Association of Wales (FAW) in 1876, Welsh football teams have had plenty of success in the domestic game. At the professional level, Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham have all achieved notable success in their respective divisions. Cardiff City, for example, have won the Welsh Cup six times and won promotion to the English Premier League in 2018. Swansea City have also won the Welsh Cup four times and achieved promotion to the top-flight of English football in 2011. Wrexham, meanwhile, have won the Welsh Cup five times. At the amateur level, Welsh football teams have also tasted success.
The FAW founded the Welsh National League (WNL) in 1890, and since then teams such as Rhyl FC and Bangor City have been crowned champions on numerous occasions. Rhyl FC, for example, have won the WNL on nine occasions, while Bangor City have won it seven times. The Welsh Cup has also been a source of great success for Welsh teams. Since its inception in 1877, several clubs have lifted the trophy. Swansea City have won it a record 14 times, while Cardiff City and Wrexham follow with six and five victories respectively.
International SuccessWelsh teams have had some successes on the international stage, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century.
The most notable of these was Cardiff City's victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1967, when they beat Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon 1-0 in the final. The Welsh national team has also made some strides on the international stage, most notably in qualifying for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. The team ultimately failed to progress beyond the group stages, but it marked a major achievement for Welsh football. Since then, the Welsh have qualified for two further World Cups, in 1976 and 2016. In more recent times, Welsh teams have enjoyed success in UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions. In 2018, Swansea City became the first Welsh team to reach the quarter-finals of a major European competition when they reached the last eight of the Europa League. In addition, Welsh teams have made their mark on the international club scene.
The Welsh Premier League is one of the few semi-professional leagues in Europe to be directly affiliated with UEFA and its teams regularly compete in European competitions. In 2019, Bala Town became the first Welsh side to reach the second round of a UEFA competition.