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Wales return to heroic welcome after Euro 2016 semi-final

2016-07-09 06:07:00 from:SNTV

Wales received a heroes' welcome in Cardiff during their spectacular homecoming on Friday (8th July) after their historic achievement at Euro 2016 which saw the side reach the semi-finals of a major international tournament for the first time.

It's been a homecoming worthy of heroes as Chris Coleman and his Wales squad were welcomed back by thousands of fans after their run at Euro 2016 ended in defeat to Portugal. Fans greeted the squad on their return from France at Cardiff airport.

SOUNDBITE(English) Chris Coleman, Wales manager

(on whether he could imagine such a huge reception from the crowds):

"No. We expected a nice welcome but I think even when we came out of the airport - Cardiff Airport was unbelievable, all the way along the streets in Barry (Welsh town). It was incredible and it just hits home how proud a nation we are and we see these people and give them something to shout about, they want to shout."

Wales' run to the last four was their best performance at an international tournament as they competed in their first major finals since 1958. Although the adventure ended with the 2-0 loss in Lyon, it couldn't stop fans pouring onto the streets of Cardiff, as a nation celebrated their achievements in France.

SOUNDBITE: (English) Gareth Bale, Wales forward

(on the parade):

"Very special. It seems that this is what it means to the whole country. Obviously it's nice for us to say a little thank you for supporting us and being there with us for the journey. Amazing scenes and one we all never forget."

Chris Coleman's side began the tournament as one of the outsiders but caused a shock by topping Group B, finishing above England despite losing to their neighbours.

SOUNDBITE: (English) Aaron Ramsey, Wales midfielder

(on the parade):

"We've had our really down days. This team has been through a lot and we've shown what we are capable of doing and we're just proud to be Welsh. You can see all the support here today, it's just phenomenal.

Wales will now hope to build on their success in France when they start their 2018 World Cup campaign at home to Moldova in September.

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