Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales will reach finals, says Craig Bellamy

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Wales team ‘best in my lifetime’ - Bellamy
Euro 2016 qualifiers: Cyprus v Wales
Venue: GSP Stadium, Nicosia Kick-off: 19:45 BST, Thursday, 3 September
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and online.

Former captain Craig Bellamy is "100% sure" the best Wales squad of his lifetime will qualify for Euro 2016.

Wales have a three-point lead at the top of qualifying Group B with four games remaining.

Bellamy was part of the Wales squad which suffered heartbreak in the Euro 2004 play-offs but is confident the current side will qualify.

"It's a better team, there is no doubt about that - a better team with better players," Bellamy said.

Wins in their next two matches could be enough to seal Wales' place at a major finals for the first time since 1958.

Group B table

Chris Coleman's side face Cyprus at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Thursday before hosting Israel at Cardiff City Stadium on 6 September.

Bellamy was part of Mark Hughes' Wales team which missed out on qualification for the 2004 European Championship finals in Portugal after play-off defeat to Russia in 2003.

The former Cardiff City and Liverpool striker retired from international football in October 2013 following the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign and played alongside the majority of the current squad.

He believes Coleman's squad are capable of launching Welsh football to "another level" with more qualification success to follow.

"When I look at this group we have a squad good enough to qualify," said Bellamy, who retired from football at the end of the 2013-14 season.

"We have a squad with individually talented players, some of the best players we have ever seen in a Welsh shirt.

"That is the whole reason why Wales teams have not qualified down the years, we have not been good enough.

"So this is the best era of Welsh players I have seen in my lifetime.

"That is why I feel this group is going to qualify, not just for this one but hopefully for a number of years to come."

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