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Sports : Kieffer Moore was playing non-league football during Euro 2016 but is now Wales’ lucky charm as hero is tipped for Premier League transfer and compared to Jamie Vardy

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Any Welsh person will remember exactly what they were doing during Wales’ magical run at Euro 2016.

The Dragons shocked everyone as they made it all the way through to the semi-finals in France, most notably beating Belgium and of course doing better than rivals England.

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Their 3-1 win over Belgium at Euro 2016 is probably Welsh football’s finest moment

The country, which is better known for excelling at rugby, fell in love with football during that summer and they are back competing against Europe’s best five years on.

Some of the class of 2016 are in the Euro 2020 squad, including Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but this is largely a new Wales with youngsters like Daniel James, Neco Williams and David Brooks set to be key players over the coming years.

It was one of their new-ish players who was their hero in their tournament opener as Kieffer Moore’s header earned Wales a point against Switzerland, which proved crucial in helping the Dragons qualify for the last 16.

At 28, Moore is by no means a novice in the game but his ‘Alan Shearer-like’ finish in the opener, and another fine performance in the win over Turkey, shed further light on just how far he’s come.

Surely Moore couldn’t have even imagined scoring for Wales at a major tournament five years ago?

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Surely Moore couldn’t have even imagined scoring for Wales at a major tournament five years ago?

When Wales were on their surprise run, the big striker was at non-league Forest Green Rovers.

He went on a month-long loan spell to boyhood club Torquay United in November 2016 before a move up the divisions to Ipswich, who played in the Championship at the time.

Most of his time as a Tractor Boy was spent on loan at Rotherham before getting a move to Barnsley. It was in Yorkshire where Moore really made his name as he scored 23 goals in 55 appearances.

A fine 2018/19 season saw Moore get his first Wales call-up in May 2019 before making his debut in a friendly against Belarus in September of that year.

Moore scored 19 goals in 2018/19. A Wales call-up followed at the end of the campaign

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Moore scored 19 goals in 2018/19. A Wales call-up followed at the end of the campaign

In between this, Moore went to Wigan but would join Cardiff a year later after the Latics were relegated to League One.

Despite an eventful club career, Moore continued to impress for Wales, scoring on his competitive debut as he netted in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

Fast forward to the tournament and he became a national hero as his clever header got Wales a much-needed point against the Swiss.

In fact, Wales have never lost when Moore scores, which makes him something of a lucky charm.

Former Wales star Dean Saunders believes this goal has earned Moore a move to the Premier League, likening him to Leicester and former England striker Jamie Vardy.

Vardy’s journey from non-league to Premier League winner and England star has inspired many players who refuse to give up on their dreams

Vardy’s journey from non-league to Premier League winner and England star has inspired many players who refuse to give up on their dreams

“Kieffer Moore, what is he, 6ft 4in? He won’t be at Cardiff for long. I know Mick McCarthy won’t thank me for saying that,” Saunders said on commentary for talkSPORT.

“His presence in the box, when you’ve got a big striker what people sometimes forget is not only do they score, and even if they don’t score, they stop the defenders from heading the ball out of the box. So you can get other players into the area and the ball is dropping down for them.

“I know he’s a Cardiff player and I want Cardiff to do well, but I think Kieffer Moore is going to end up in the Premier League.

“A bit more coaching with him, a bit more time, he’s started in non-league and when non-league players go on to play higher up, like Jamie Vardy, they naturally sprint and work hard.

“They all had to earn a living down there on £300 or £400 a week, where if you don’t try the manager will bin you.

“So he’s got that in him, it’s just the other bits now, the finesse and a bit of coaching about when he’s got his back to the goal, I think he’ll be playing in the Premier League.”

Can Moore show what he can do against Denmark?

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Can Moore show what he can do against Denmark?





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