Wales return to Principality Stadium for Spain friendly

Wales line up before facing England at Cardiff's showpiece venue in 2011
Wales line up before facing England at Cardiff's showpiece venue in 2011. The hosts lost 2-0

Wales will play at Principality Stadium for the first time since 2011 when they face Spain in a friendly in autumn, 2018.

Ryan Giggs' side will host Spain in Cardiff on Thursday, 11 October and will then travel to Albania on Tuesday, 20 November.

Wales have not played at the national stadium since facing England in 2011 in a 2012 European Championship qualifier.

In recent years Wales have been based at the smaller Cardiff City Stadium.

That is where they will continue to play forthcoming competitive games.

Cardiff City Stadium holds up to 33,000 fans, while the Principality has a capacity of 74,500.

'Fantastic opportunity for supporters'

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said: "We are delighted that we will be playing against Spain, arguably the most successful international side in world football during the past few years.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for our supporters to see a great team and world class players.

"We want to provide everyone with the opportunity of watching the game and playing at the Principality Stadium enables us to do so."

Principality Stadium last staged a Wales football match in March 2011 when it was called Millennium Stadium.

After talks with stadium owners, the Welsh Rugby Union, about use of the venue the FAW hopes for a bumper crowd for a glamour friendly against a Spain side able to field the likes of Premier League stars David de Gea and David Silva.

Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes scored when Wales last faced Spain in 1985

However, Wales' Uefa Nations League games - against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark in September and November - will be played at Cardiff City Stadium.

That is the venue that Wales turned into a fortress under Giggs' predecessor Chris Coleman, which saw them qualify for Euro 2016 - their first major tournament for 58 years.

The two friendlies will be played during 'free' international match days during the Nations League competition.

Countries without Nations League fixtures were compelled by Uefa to arrange games with each other.

In recent years, Wales have opted against filling friendly dates and preferred to utilise training camps.

Wales have not played Spain since a World Cup qualifier in April 1985, which the hosts won 3-0 at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.


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