Ex-Liverpool star Bellamy appointed Wales coach

Craig Bellamy has been named coach of the Wales national team until 2028, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said on Tuesday.

Former Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle United forward Bellamy, who made 78 appearances for Wales between 1998-2013, replaces Rob Page, who was sacked last month after his team failed to qualify for Euro 2024.

“It’s an incredible honour for me to be given the opportunity to lead my country and it’s the proudest moment of my career. It was always my ultimate dream to become the Cymru Head Coach and I am ready for the challenge,” Bellamy said in a statement.

Bellamy, 44, made 78 appearances for Wales during his playing career after his debut as an 18-year-old and was given the captaincy after the retirement of Ryan Giggs in 2007.

Since retiring in 2014, Bellamy has coached the Cardiff City Under-18 team and was assistant coach under Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht and Burnley. He joined Burnley with Kompany in 2022, earning promotion to the Premier League in their first season.

Burnley was relegated at the end of last season, and Kompany left in May to become manager of Bayern Munich. He was replaced by Scott Parker.

“From the first moment I walked into the training ground at Burnley, I knew it was the right club for me and I have loved every moment since,” Bellamy said in a statement issued by the club.

“But the chance to be the manager, of Wales, my country, has always been a dream that has never left me and a chance I just couldn’t turn down.”

Wales missed out on a place at Euro 2024 after losing a playoff against Poland on penalties, and Page’s time in charge ended after two friendlies last month in which they drew 0-0 with Gibraltar and lost 4-0 to Slovakia.

Bellamy’s first task will be to gain promotion back to League A of the Nations League, and his first game in charge will be at home to Turkey on Sept. 6. The group also includes Iceland and Montenegro.

“I will give my full commitment to develop this team and I am passionate to bring continued success into Welsh football. I can’t wait to get started with our Nations League games in September,” Bellamy said.

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