How many times have Wales qualified for the World Cup?

Gareth Bale and Rob Page have led Wales to the World Cup on and off the field respectively | Shaun Botterill/GettyImages© Provided by 90min Gareth Bale and Rob Page have led Wales to the World Cup on and off the field respectively | Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

One of just two nations from the United Kingdom to have qualified for the 2022 World Cup, Wales will join England (as well as the United States and Iran) in Group B in Qatar this winter.

Gareth Southgate leads the Three Lions into their 16th participation at World Cup finals while Rob Page, on the hand, joins a very exclusive group to have coached the Dragons to a World Cup appearance - before Page's addition to that select club, the member tally stood at one.

Jimmy Murphy was the solitary figure to have managed the feat of taking Wales to the World Cup before this year, leading them to their only prior qualification back in 1958.

Wales at the FIFA World Cup

Wales hadn't even won a qualification match before the campaign to that World Cup in Sweden, but impressed with four wins in six fixtures to book their tickets to the main event.

The best of their success was yet to come, however. Cymru managed to avoid defeat in Group 3 at the tournament, despite being pitted against hosts Sweden and footballing giants Hungary, before advancing to the knockout phase courtesy of a 2-1 play-off victory over the Hungarians.

That's where the journey would end, however, bowing out at the quarter-final stage via a narrow 1-0 defeat to eventual champions Brazil - far from humiliating.

A series of disappointing qualification campaigns would ensue, though.

1982 would present Wales with footballing heartbreak, as they missed out on qualification for the World Cup in Spain on goal difference, before lightning struck twice four years later.

It wouldn't be until the 21st century that the Welsh started properly competing on the international scene once more. They missed out on the play-off round for qualification to the 2018 World Cup by a couple of points, but eventually put all those unpleasantries to rest with a typically dramatic but unfamiliarly successful campaign this time around.

How did Wales qualify for the 2022 World Cup?

Simply put, they got to Qatar with grit, determination, spirit and by the skin of their teeth.

Things didn't kick off well for Wales in qualification Group E back in March 2021; a 3-1 defeat to Belgium suggested a similar journey to those of years gone by was to come. An unbeaten run consisting of four victories and two draws in their subsequent six fixtures (including late wins against the Czech Republic and Belarus, and a 5-1 mauling of the latter), however, set the country up for a dramatic final matchday.

With the Czechs breathing down their necks, the Dragons required at least a point for a second-placed finish as they welcomed Belgium to the Cardiff City Stadium; a 1-1 draw, in which Kieffer Moore's strike cancelled our Kevin De Bruyne's early opener, ensured Wales progressed to the play-offs.

With a monstrously loud wall of red behind them, a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales saw off a strong Austria side with a hard-fought 2-1 victory in March's semi-final.

A magical free kick and a stunning top corner-bound finish from the Welsh skipper on that night sent his country into June's final, where Wayne Hennessey's heroics denied a superb Ukraine side and earned Wales a 1-0 win to qualify for just their second World Cup. 

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