Wales manager and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has admitted that his side deserved to qualify for the Euro 2020 because of the way they performed in their qualifiers. The quadrennial tournament was the first major event to be postponed over the COVID-19 pandemic with the rest following.
To allow football associations enough time and space to finish their seasons, UEFA opted to postpone the Euro 2020 when they moved it by a year. The quadrennial tournament will now take place next summer in 2021 but there will be no changes to the name with European football’s governing body opting to keep it as Euro 2020. Yet either way, it will see a lot of teams in hopefully better shape with Wales amongst the many.
The Dragons qualified, after a 58-year gap, for their second consecutive Euros after they finished in the semi-finals at the 2016 tournament. However, while many feel that the Welsh weren’t deserving qualifiers, manager Ryan Giggs has confessed that his side deserved to be at Euro 2020. Giggs, the most decorated player in British football history, also added that his players showed a lot of courage and belief to get to where they are.
“The players deserve everything, because they went out and did it. When they needed to play football, they did – Azerbaijan away, Slovakia away. When it got physical and they needed to dig in, they responded – Croatia at home, Hungary at home. They believed in what we were doing and they delivered. When I go from the final whistle at Hungary away, to the final whistle for Hungary at home – it is night and day. I was low, then to come back, the opposite feeling. High,” Giggs told the Athletic.
However, while Giggs was supposed to be leading his home nation in the Euro 2020 next month, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of changes. It saw the tournament moved by a year with that causing a domino effect for various other UEFA and FIFA held tournaments. But Giggs added that while the frustration among his players is palpable, they’re preparing the players for every possible scenario.
“You’re preparing yourself for every scenario. Football in September? If that doesn’t happen, then what? You keep in touch with the team regularly over WhatsApp and we have had a few Zoom meetings, but there is not a lot we can do. At club level they are in no man’s land but at international level it is even worse because people aren’t really talking about it,” he added.