Chris Gunter calls Euro 2020 set up a "joke" in passionate post following Wales' exit
The Welsh defender took to Instagram to not only console fans but criticise UEFA and the government over travelling restrictions
Football fans all over Wales are still reeling from a brutal 4-o thumping against Denmark which was them exit Euro 2020 in the first round of the knockout stage. To put it mildly, the game got away from them quickly, especially in the second half, where frustrations resulted in a red card and further capitulation in the dying embers. A tough one to take, no doubt.
However, the spirit of the team is something that has been talked up throughout the tournament and ever since the foundations of the group really bedded in back in 2016, and one player who summed up Welsh emotions pretty perfectly is Chris Gunter.
The Charlton Athletic defender took to Instagram following the team's departure and spoke passionately and rather beautifully on the journey the squad and the nation had gone through, urging fans to "Be sad, but be proud".
As you can read in the full caption, it's a case of mixed emotions for The Dragons and the rest of the country as despite bowing out in the round of 16, they still feel it was such an achievement to make it that far to begin with.
The mood of the entire post is very much akin to the last Euros, where Gunter played every minute as they made it all the way to semis when far too many didn't take them seriously enough. He wrote: "It hurts like mad, but to be hurting with some of my best mates and best muckas I’ve shared a changing room with for years on years makes it a little easier."
Most interestingly, however, the 31-year-old also takes the time to note criticise the handling of travelling fans, or lack thereof, calling the "set up" of the tournament a "joke" - referring of course to the fact that just a handful of fans attended the game in Amsterdam due to a ban on foreign travel.
He went on to say:
"Every nation had fans wherever they went, apart from the 350 who broke government rules and bank accounts to be there, you and us deserved more from this joke set up of a tournament, but who said life was fair. Have a cry, but then smile that we were dining at the top table yet again. And smile even more that we’ll be back, and we’ll be the ones with the full stadium belting out our anthem that we all deserve.
He, of course, pay credit to his teammates and Wales as a whole for all their love and support throughout the tournament and reiterated to fans, "keep your chin up". We're sure they'll be back in and around the knockouts for the World Cup next year, with Chris Gunter no doubt playing a key part in it.