Wales are set to make history next month when they feature in their first World Cup tournament since 1958. A dramatic summer which saw Gareth Bale secure them victory against Ukraine in the World Cup Qualifiers final has set them up to face England, USA and Iran in Group B.
Wales’ last World Cup tournament actually saw them narrowly miss out on a semi-final spot as they were beaten by Brazil in the quarters, with Pele scoring the only goal. Sixty-four years on and The Dragons will now bring a completely different squad to Qatar, with the likes of Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Brennan Johnson starring.
The Middle Eastern country were announced as the 2022 World Cup hosts twelve years ago and they have since been developing brand new stadiums and preparing for a huge four weeks of football. Wales will play in front of some of the biggest crowds in the support in some exceptional venues this winter.
Here are the stadiums Wales are set to play in...
Where will Wales’ matches be played?
All three of Wales’ group stage fixtures of the tournament against USA, Iran and England will place at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan. The ground was opened in 2020 and was built in place of the old home of Al Rayyan SC. The initial plan was to expand the existing stadium but in the end they decided to build a whole new one.
The capacity of the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium is roughly 40,000, though around half of the seats will be removed after the World Cup. During the tournament it is set to host five group matches and one Round of 16 match.
If Wales finish top of Group B then they will face the runners-up of Group A (Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal or Netherlands) at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The stadium was built specifically for the World Cup and has already hosted the 2021 Arab Cup. Al Bayt Stadium has a capacity of around 60,000 over three tiers, with the top tier set to be removed once the tournament is over. The venue will host the opening match, as well as a round of 16, quarter-final and semi-final match.
However, if they were to top the group then their round of 16 tie against the winner of Group A would be played at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. The stadium was built to serve as the flagship venue for the 1976 Gulf Cup and has had a number of upgrades since - increasing the capacity by double to around 40,000 seats. The venue has played host to a number of events including the 2006 Asian Games and is also home to the Qatar national team.
Depending on where Wales had finished in their group, if they were to progress to the quarter-finals then they would compete at either the familiar Al Bayt Stadium or the Lusail Iconic Stadium. The latter is the largest stadium in the World Cup and can hold a whopping 80,000 fans. It will also host the most matches including a semi-final and the final. Meanwhile, the third-place play-off will be held at Khalifa International Stadium.