Craig Bellamy beats Arsenal legend to ‘ultimate dream’ job

Former Liverpool and Newcastle United striker Craig Bellamy has been named as the new Wales men’s manager, calling the appointment his “ultimate dream”.

The 44-year-old replaces Robert Page in the dugout after leaving his role as assistant manager to Vincent Kompany at Burnley, who were relegated from the Premier League last season.

Bellamy faced stiff competition for the role, with BBC Wales claiming that the FAW spoke to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and Georgia manager Willy Sagnol about the vacancy, as well as Oxford United boss Des Buckingham.

It’s the Welshman’s first senior managerial job since his playing career, which also took in spells at Blackburn, Celtic, Man City, Norwich and West Ham United, ended a decade job.

“It’s an incredible honour for me to be given the opportunity to lead my country and it’s the proudest moment of my career,” the Welshman told the FAW website.

“It was always my ultimate dream to become the Cymru head coach and I am ready for the challenge.

“I will give my full commitment to develop this team and I am passionate to bring continued success into Welsh football.

“I can’t wait to get started with our Nations League games in September.”

Bellamy is now tasked with getting Wales to the 2026 Fifa Men’s World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the US. His first game in charge sees Wales take on Turkey in September.

Dr David Adams, Wales’ chief football officer, said that the FAW went through a “thorough process” before selecting Bellamy to take over the national team.

“I am absolutely delighted to announce Craig as our new head coach,” he said.

“We undertook a thorough recruitment process for the new men’s national team head coach and Craig was identified as the standout candidate.

“We are all looking forward to the Nations League games and working with Craig to deliver success for Welsh football.”

Bellamy had previously been in the running for the Wales job in 2018, but lost out to Ryan Giggs.

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