Emotional Neco Williams dedicates his World Cup debut for Wales to his late grandfather
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Wales full-back Neco Williams was very emotional during his World Cup debut against the USA.
While playing at the biggest tournament in the world would be enough to cause emotions to be sky-high, Williams was dealing with heavy personal news when he ran onto the pitch in Qatar.
He revealed his grandfather died one day before his World Cup debut and the loss has hit him hard.
The 21-year-old Wrexham-born star said he had been crying all day before the match against the United States.
But he soldiered on and helped Wales end the match 1-1.
As the final whistle blew, he was overwhelmed with emotions once again.
The camera got up close to the footballer and, when he realised the world's lens was concentrated on him, he decided to send a message to his late grandfather.
“That was for you grandad," he said.
He also looked to the sky as another tribute to his grandfather.
He posted a message on Twitter after the clash with the USA to explain to his followers what he was grappling with.
“Yesterday was the toughest news I’ve ever had to face and that was listening to my mum tell me my grandad past away last night," he said.
“To go from crying all day to start in a World Cup game was extremely tough but I got through it from the support of my team mates and family.”
There was a lot riding on Wales' opening match at the World Cup in Qatar.
Yesterday was the toughest news I’ve ever had to face and that was listening to my mum tell me my grandad past away last night😓 to go from crying all day to start in a World Cup game was extremely tough but I got through it from the support of my team mates and family❤️🕊 pic.twitter.com/3pcxl0C3Qc— Neco Williams (@necowilliams01) November 21, 2022
It was the country's first World Cup appearance since 1958 and there's no doubt the whole of Wales would have been watching every second.
They finally managed to get on the international circuit when they qualified for the Euros in 2016.
They reached the semi finals in France for that tournament and followed up that by getting into the Euros last year.
However, that changed earlier this year, when Robert Page's team beat Ukraine in the final play-off game, to secure their place in Qatar.
While it might have looked bad when the USA's Timothy Weah opened the scoring in Qatar, Wales' Gareth Bale managed to hit back with a penalty to even the scores.
It was a deadlock for the rest of the match and the score ended in a draw.