With many Welsh fans either on route to France or already there, I thought this would be a timely reminder of when a Welsh side travelled to France to play a friendly and came away with a great victory against a very talented side, who one month later would get to the semi-finals of the World Cup and two years later would go on to become European Champions.
The friendly took place in Toulouse, 34 years later the venue for another famous win for Wales against Russia in the European Championships in 2016. Wales in 1982, was under the management of Mike England and had some talented players in their ranks but positive results were at a premium, especially against the top international sides of that time, which France was certainly in that bracket, with players such as Marseille central defender, Marius Tresor, Bordeaux’s scheming midfielder in the shape of the diminutive, Alain Giresse and the jewel of French football, a player joining Italian giants Juventus midfielder, Michel Platini, a free-scoring, creative delight of a footballer. France was under the management of Michel Hidalgo and was in full preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Spain (a World Cup I absolutely loved watching, rushing from school to see the games).
The game was played in front of more than 26,000 fans in the stadium. Wales wore their yellow and green kit for the game with France decked out in their usual blue shirts and white shorts. The game was a tight affair until the 55th minute, Ian Rush got on the end of a low cross across the box, and Rush being the predator he was finished the chance putting it past Jean Castaneda in the French goal. Wales earned a fantastic victory against a very talented French side. Apologies for the picture standard of the clip and the French commentary, but what a goal and what a kit 😉
The two sides that day were as follows:
Michel Platini (capt)
Philippe Mahut for Tresor
Bruno Bellone for Six
Jean Tigana for Larios
Gordon Davies for Walsh
Hope you have enjoyed the trip down memory lane, some great names took to the field that evening on both sides. Here is hoping we see another positive result out in France this coming Friday, it’s a big ask but as the game on the 2nd June 1982 showed, surprises can happen.
Feature Picture Credit: http://www.reddit.com