Cape Town - Wales
captain Ashley Williams admits the disappointment of missing out on the
2018 Soccer World Cup was so great that he contemplated retiring from
The Dragons qualified for the European Championship for the first
time in 2016 and they reached the semi-finals under Chris Coleman,
before being knocked out by eventual winners Portugal.
They had high hopes of reaching the World Cup finals for the first
time since 1958, but came up short in qualifying after finishing third
in Group D behind Serbia and Republic of Ireland.
The Welsh needed to beat their local rivals in the final round to
secure a play-off place, but a 1-0 defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium
dashed their dreams and led to Coleman stepping down as manager.
"It was just so disappointing missing out on that (the World Cup) that I had to think about retirement," Williams reflected.
"I spoke to the people closest to me, I didn't want to retire or
anything like that. But I felt like it was something that I should've
thought about and seen where I was at with club and international
football and life in general.
"I did give that a thought, but then I decided I wanted to keep doing it anyway."
Ryan Giggs has since taken over at the helm and will kick off his
reign against China on Thursday, as part of a four-team tournament in
Nanning which also includes Czech Republic and Uruguay.