Inside the Wales camp in Baku, the unlikely city where Euro 2020 dreams will be made or broken

Cardiff City ForumOff TopicFun BetsShopLocal Business

AutoPoster

First Team Debut
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
89
Reaction score
104
Reactions
104
Credits
313
Rob Page's men have enjoyed their first full day in Baku ahead of their Euro 2020 clash with Switzerland this weekend

0_JS236736653.jpg


Wales have set up camp in Azerbaijan ahead of their Euro 2020 opener against Switzerland on Saturday.

Rob Page's men ramp up their preparations for the tournament this week following a 0-0 draw with Albania at Cardiff City Stadium that came just three days after a 3-0 loss to reigning world champions France in Nice.

On Monday, the squad and coaching staff flew across Europe to their base in Baku ahead of their two fixtures in the capital city.

Boxes of kit, footballs and lateral flow Covid-19 tests are among the extensive list of items carted from Cardiff to Baku while the FAW have produced a monumental behind-the-scenes effort to prepare four floors of their team hotel for the arrival of the 26 men selected for Euros duty.

Other FAW delegates have been housed at a hotel next door to that of the team - such is the scale of the travelling party.

Based on the glorious Baku promenade, their hotel overlooks what is the largest bay on the east side of Azerbaijan and into the Caspian Sea while the iconic Flame Towers can be spotted in the distance.

Little more than 24 hours before the squad's arrival, the city hosted what was a dramatic Formula One race.

A hefty amount of the vast entourage required to hold such a significant event of the sporting calendar remains in Baku - although several elements of the operation continue to be removed piece by piece.

0_baku1.jpg

The F1 start/finish line on the Baku street circuit is located outside the Wales team hotel

0_baku2.jpg

Wales' team hotel in Baku

0_baku3.jpg

Wales' team hotel in Baku sits next to the pit wall used for Sunday's Formula One race

0_bak11.jpg

Baku by night


Such is the location of the street circuit, Wales' team bus parks up around 20 metres away from where race leader Max Verstappen lost control of his Red Bull car before ploughing into a wall - something players would have been able to witness in its full glory had they been overlooking the track from their hotel rooms some 24 hours earlier.

Away from their living quarters, the Red Dragons' training base is situated at the 31,000-seater Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium which is around six miles to the south east of the Olympic Stadium where they will take on Switzerland and Turkey.

The squad were put through their paces at the training ground for the first time on Tuesday - with temperatures reaching as much as 28°C.

They will continue to operate at the venue normally used by Qarabag FK for the remainder of the week before getting a feel for their surroundings at the 69,870-seater Olympic Stadium on Friday - with Page and one senior player (most likely captain Gareth Bale) set to face the media ahead of their tournament opener against the Swiss on Saturday.

Wales will return to base camp for training sessions on the Sunday and Monday after their opening game before once again holding a session at the Olympic Stadium on the Tuesday in preparation for the contest with Turkey on Wednesday, June 16.

That game will likely feel like an away match, with thousands of Turkish fans expected to hop over the border to support their team.

While there will be some Wales fans in Baku later this week, the pandemic and Government advice mean the travelling Welsh army we saw at Euro 2016 will simply not be present this time.

0_JS236736726.jpg


Following that encounter, Wales will remain in Baku for a further two days before travelling to Rome in the evening of Friday, June 18 ahead of the final group fixture against Italy two days later.

Wales tasted success in Baku - dubbed the City of Winds due to the strong gusts that hit from the coastline - en route to qualifying for this summer's European Championships.

They will now hope their meticulous planning will play a key role in ensuring they can blow away their first two group opponents and travel to Rome with points in the bag ahead of their final fixture against Italy.

 

Travis Bickle

Ballon d'Or Winner
⭐ PLATINUM VIP ⭐
👌👌👌 1000 PAGER 👌👌👌
❸ 3 YEARS ❸
🏅 LIFETIME
ACHIEVEMENT 🏅
💛❼ WHITTINGHAM ❼💛
🔥 500,000th POST 🔥
Joined
4 Dec 2017
Messages
64,901
Reaction score
106,678
Reactions
104,543 913 63
Country
Wales
Credits
51,376

The Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium in Baku is named after the cheating lino who insisted the ball went over the line in the 1966 World Cup final​

 
Cardiff City ForumOff TopicFun BetsShopLocal Business

Login or Register

Forgot your password?
or register in seconds
with your social account
Don't have an account? Register now

Members online

Cardiff City ForumOff TopicFun BetsShopLocal Business
Top