Wales have been invited to participate in the 'China Cup' in 2018 alongside the hosts, Uruguay and Czech Republic after becoming one of the biggest names in international football in recent years.

The friendly four-way competition began in 2017 when it was won by back-to-back reigning Copa America champions Chile, also featuring Iceland and Croatia.


The last tournament took place in January, but it will coincide with the usual March international break in 2018 as the visiting nations arrive in the host city of Nanning.

It would appear that the Chinese Football Federation is hopeful that ​Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale will be fit and available to play after alluding to the nation having long possessed some of the 'world's best players', possibly referring to past stars like Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush.

The current Welsh team is ranked 14th in the world by FIFA, higher than Uruguay (17th), Czech Republic (46th) and China (57th) and so should be favourites to win the mini-tournament.

Wales v Northern Ireland - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016

After years of struggle, Wales of course reached far greater prominence after going as far as the Euro 2016 semi-finals last year, beating a heavily fancied Belgium team en-route and only losing against eventual winners Portugal.

Manager Chris Coleman thinks the recent Welsh rise is to credit for the invitation.

"I think it's very positive," he is quoted as saying by ITV"We would never have been asked to be involved in something like that three or four years ago, but now we're being asked to go to a mini-tournament against some really good teams."