Wales football games that help define a sporting nation

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Rewind: 'I love you baby' trailer for Wales' doomed World Cup qualifier v Romania

To understand the outpouring of elation and relief Wales football fans feel after their team qualified for Euro 2016, you must understand a little bit of the country's football history.

Wales have not qualified for a major tournament finals since the 1958 World Cup.

In 1976, they did grace a European Championship quarter-final against Yugoslavia but technically it was not in a 'major final' as it was a two-legged tie with games in Zagreb and Cardiff.

On no fewer than 11 occasions since 1958, Wales have suffered the agony of missing out on a major tournament in their final qualifying match - a run that included six of nine qualifying campaigns between 1978 and 1994.

Welsh football fans have suffered such qualifying heartache that those lows have made qualifying for the 2016 European Championships in France so sweet.

So take a look inside the BBC Sport archives and watch some memorable and infamous fixtures that have defined Welsh football since 1976.

1976: Wales 1-1 Yugoslavia - The forgotten team

Wales 1-1 Yugoslavia

Wales are beaten on aggregate in the quarter-final of the 1976 European Championships as, after a 2-0 defeat in Yugoslavia, they are held 1-1 in Cardiff.

Mike Smith's side are often referred to as Wales' forgotten team, because the last-eight ties in 1976 were two-legged affairs, and did not constitute part of the finals. Back then, only four teams qualified for the Euros.

1977: England 0-1 Wales - James' Wembley winner

Leighton James

Leighton James' penalty in the 1977 Home Internationals seals Wales only victory over England at Wembley and their first away win over their biggest rivals on their home turf since a 1936 triumph at Molineux.

1980: Wales 4-1 England - Four-some Wales

Ian Walsh

Leighton James is on target again as Wales celebrate a memorable first home victory for 25 years over England with a 4-1 hammering at Wrexham.

Paul Mariner had given the visitors the lead but goals from local hero Mickey Thomas, striker Ian Walsh and James, plus a Phil Thompson own goal, ensure a famous Wales win.

1984: Wales 1-0 England - Bright Sparky shocks England

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes returns to his home town of Wrexham to score on his international debut to earn Wales their third win over England in seven years - in the final Home Nations Championship meeting between the two rivals.

1985: Wales 3-0 Spain - Sparky's stunner

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes scores one of the memorable goals in Welsh football history in a historic 3-0 victory over Euro 1984 runners-up Spain in Wrexham.

1990: Wales 3-1 Belgium - Brush aside Belgium

Mark Hughes

Ian Rush, Dean Saunders and Mark Hughes lead a stunning comeback as Wales beat Belgium in their opening match of the Euro 1992 qualifying campaign - where they came within a point of qualifying for the tournament in Sweden.

1991: Wales 1-0 Germany - Welsh World Cup winner beaters

Ian Rush celebrates

Striking great Ian Rush scores a second-half winner as Welsh football celebrates one of the greatest nights in their history, with reigning world champions Germany beaten in Cardiff in a European Championship qualifier.

1991: Wales 1-0 Brazil - Saunders stuns Samba boys

Wales stun Brazil's 'Samba Boys' in '91

Dean Saunders scores as Wales follow up their victory against world champions Germany with their only win over the mighty five-time World Cup winners Brazil, in a friendly at Cardiff Arms Park in September 1991.

1993: Wales 1-2 Romania - Bodin's miss

Romania end Wales' 1994 World Cup dream

Wales suffer another qualification heartbreak as Paul Bodin misses a penalty with a decisive World Cup qualifier poised at 1-1.

Terry Yorath's team need a victory to qualify for USA '94; instead, Florin Raducioiu's late goal gives Romania a 2-1 win.

2002: Wales 2-1 Italy - Bellissimo

Craig Bellamy celebrates

Craig Bellamy scores a memorable winner to ensure Wales beat a top footballing nation in a competitive game for the first time in 11 years as Mark Hughes' men win against four-time World Cup winners Italy in a Euro 2004 qualifier in Cardiff.

2003: Wales 0-1 Russia - No love from Russia

Russia crush Wales' Euro 2004 hopes

Welsh football suffers another heartbreaking night as Mark Hughes' men lose 1-0 to Russia in their Euro 2004 qualifying play-off second-leg in Cardiff. After a goalless first leg in Moscow, Wales are defeated by Vadim Evseev's first-half winner.

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