The World Cup group stages are finally reaching their conclusion after 10 days of thrilling action. Some major scalps have been taken at this tournament, with Saudi Arabia beating Argentina and more.
Heads were turned when the Qatar World Cup group stages were announced pitting Iran, England, Wales and the United States against one another. All teams have a long history whether that be in politics, geography or in the world of football.
It is statistically the hardest group in the World Cup, with all teams in the group featuring in the top 20 Fifa rankings. Iran are 20th, with Wales 19th. The United States are a little higher at 16th with England by far the best in terms of Fifa rankings, coming in 5th.
Heading into the last set of group games in group B, England face Wales and USAface Iran. Wales will need to pull off a minor miracle to qualify from the group whereas England know that barring a huge goal swing, they will finish top with a draw against the Welsh.
A lot of the current Welsh squad have played for English clubs in the past.. Aaron Ramsey used to play for Arsenal, Gareth Bale played for both Southampton and Tottenham, and Wayne Hennessey has played for Bristol City, Wolves, Stockport, Yeovil, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Nottingham Forest.
Nine players of the Wales team that have travelled to Qatar were actually born in England:
Ampadu has proved to be a good defensive midfielder in the World Cup. He was born in Exeter, and made a number of first team appearances for the side before moving to Chelsea. He is currently on loan at Italian club Venezia.
Mepham was born in Harrow, London and has played for the likes of Chelsea and Brentford before making a move to Bournemouth for a reported £12 million in 2019.
Morell hasn’t featured much in the tournament, and the 25-year-old was born in Ipswich. He was on the books at Bristol City from 2013 - 2020 before making the move to Luton. He was there for just a year, and currently plays for Portsmouth in League One.
The midfielder only turned 23 on November 22 yet has already racked up over 100 professional appearances. Again, he hasn’t been used that much this tournament and currently plays for MK Dons. He was born in Redditch, England.
Thomas was one of the standout players as Huddersfield fell just one game short of a return to the Premier League as they were beaten by Nottingham Forest in the 2022 play-off final. He was born in Newham, London, and spent some of his youth career at West Ham.
Williams was part of Wales’ historic side that reached the semi finals of the 2016 European Championships. He was born in Pembury, Kent, and currently plays for Swindon after starting his career at Crystal Palace.
James made a name for himself as he transferred from Swansea to Manchester United for a fee of around £15 million. He was born in Hull, and spent eight years at Hull FC from 2006 - 2014. He currently plays for Fulham, on loan from Leeds.
Moore has had a big part of Wales’ current World Cup run. The 30-year-old currently plays for Bournemouth in the Premier League and was born in Torquay.
The 21-year-old has been part on the books of Nottingham Forest since 2009, and has since made his debut, becoming an integral part of the side. He was born in Nottingham, and is the son of David Johnson, who was a professional footballer.