'They played their hearts out': Wales World Cup squad welcomed home from Qatar

"I can't really explain it with words": Watch the Wales fans who waited to greet the squad as they returned home from the World Cup

Fans said that they were "very proud" of the Wales team as they gathered in Cardiff Airport to welcome the squad home from Qatar.

Although Wales had failed to progress from the World Cup group stages, they had qualified for and played in their first World Cup tournament in 64 years.

Rob Page's men greeted excited fans on Thursday evening by signing shirts and bucket hats as fans called them an "inspiration."

"I can't really explain it with words, these players I've watched on the telly for the past couple of weeks... To meet them in person, it's something different," one fan told ITV Wales.

"We've been watching every match, supporting Wales through and through, and we just wanted to come and show our support," said one mother who had brought her sons.Wales' first game against the USA ended in a draw, but subsequent 2-0 and 3-0 defeats to Iran and England respectively meant the team finished bottom of Group B.

But, despite the disappointing campaign, Wales' fans, 'Y Wal Goch', remained passionate in their support throughout the tournament. Fans filled the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium with a rousing renditions of Yma o Hyd and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau – even after the final whistle blew and their World Cup hopes were dashed.

Around 6,000 Welsh fans packed into the Ahmad bin Ali stadium to see Wales play in their first World Cup tournament since 1958 Credit: PA

Back home in Cardiff, the support seemed to continue, and people appeared excited to have the chance to meet their sporting heroes."Honestly, it's amazing, it's brilliant. They've taken time out as well to come over and speak to the girls, which is, it's just an inspiration isn't it," one mother told ITV Wales.