THE excitement is building ahead of Wales’ first World Cup tournament match since a 17-year-old Pele knocked us out at the quarter-final stage in Sweden 64 years ago.

Brazil went on to win the tournament and have graced the world stage ever since, while Wales have strived without success just to get there... until now!

Cymru manager Rob Page selected his 26-player squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last week and their tournament begins against the USA on Monday (November 21), kick-off 7pm UK time, before fixtures against Iran and England complete Group B over the following eight days.

In a live television broadcast from The Welfare Hall in Page’s hometown of Tylorstown, in the heart of the Rhondda Valleys, it was announced which players would be the first to represent Cymru on the world stage since 1958.

Cymru centurions Wayne Hennessey, Chris Gunter and Gareth Bale all make the squad and they are three of eight players – alongside Ben Davies, Joe Allen, Aaron Ramsey, Jonny Williams and Danny Ward – who travel to a third major international tournament after UEFA Euro 2016 and UEFA Euro 2020.

Meanwhile, Sorba Thomas, Mark Harris and Brennan Johnson are included in a major tournament squad for the very first time.

Tom Lockyer receives a call-up for the first time since September 2021, while Harry Wilson and Adam Davies return to the squad after missing September’s UEFA Nations League fixtures.

The squad is: Wayne HENNESSEY (Nottingham Forest), Danny WARD (Leicester City), Adam DAVIES (Sheffield United), Ben DAVIES (Tottenham Hotspur), Ben CABANGO (Swansea City), Tom LOCKYER (Luton Town), Joe RODON (Rennes– on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Chris MEPHAM (AFC Bournemouth), Ethan AMPADU (Spezia – on loan from Chelsea), Chris GUNTER (AFC Wimbledon), Neco WILLIAMS (Nottingham Forest), Connor ROBERTS (Burnley), Sorba THOMAS (Huddersfield Town), Joe ALLEN (Swansea City), Matt SMITH (MK Dons), Dylan LEVITT (Dundee United), Harry WILSON (Fulham), Joe MORRELL (Portsmouth), Jonny WILLIAMS (Swindon Town), Aaron RAMSEY (Nice), Rubin COLWILL (Cardiff City), Gareth BALE (Los Angeles FC), Kieffer MOORE (AFC Bournemouth), Mark HARRIS (Cardiff City), Brennan JOHNSON (Nottingham Forest), Dan JAMES (Fulham – on loan from Leeds United).