Kieffer Moore used to play non-league football at Euro 2016 but is now Wales’ lucky charm as the hero is tipped for Premier League transfer and compared to Jamie Vardy
Any Welshman will remember exactly what he was doing during Wales’ magical race to Euro 2016.
The Dragons shocked everyone as they advanced to the semi-finals in France, notably beating Belgium and of course doing better than their English rivals.
Their 3-1 win over Belgium at Euro 2016 is probably the best moment in Welsh football
The country, best known for excelling at rugby, fell in love with football that summer and is back against Europe’s best five years later.
Some of the class of 2016 are part of the Euro 2020 squad, including Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but much of it is a new Wales with youngsters like Daniel James, Neco Williams and David Brooks who are expected to be key players over the next few years.
It was one of their new players who was their hero in their first game of the tournament as Kieffer Moore’s header helped Wales score a point against Switzerland which proved crucial for help the Dragons advance to the knockout stages.
At 28, Moore is by no means a newcomer to the game, but his “Alan Shearer-style” result in the opener and another strong performance in the win over Turkey have highlighted how far he has come.
Surely Moore couldn’t have imagined scoring for Wales in a major tournament five years ago?
When Wales were on their surprise run, the big striker was at Forest Green Rovers, out of the league.
He made a month-long loan to boyhood club Torquay United in November 2016 before moving up through the divisions at Ipswich, who was playing in the Championship at the time.
Most of his time as Tractor Boy was on loan at Rotherham before moving to Barnsley. It was in Yorkshire that Moore really made a name for himself, scoring 23 goals in 55 appearances.
A strong 2018/19 season saw Moore secure his first call-up in Wales in May 2019 before making his debut in a friendly against Belarus in September of the same year.
Moore scored 19 goals in 2018/19. A summons in Wales followed at the end of the campaign
In between, Moore went to Wigan but would join Cardiff a year later after the Latics were relegated to League One.
Despite an eventful club career, Moore continued to impress for Wales, scoring on his competitive debut as he scored in a Euro 2020 qualifying match against Slovakia.
Fast forward to the tournament and he became a national hero as his smart header helped Wales score a much needed point against the Swiss.
In fact, Wales have never lost when Moore scores which makes him a lucky charm.
Former Wales star Dean Saunders believes the goal earned Moore a move to the Premier League, comparing him to Leicester and former England striker Jamie Vardy.
Vardy’s journey from non-league to Premier League winner and England star has inspired many players who refuse to give up on their dreams
« Kieffer Moore, what’s he doing, 6 foot 4? » He won’t be staying in Cardiff for long. I know Mick McCarthy won’t thank me for saying that, ”Saunders said during a comment for talkSPORT.
“His presence in the box, when you have a big attacker, what people sometimes forget is not just that they are scoring, and even if they don’t score, they prevent defenders from directing the ball out. from the surface. So you can bring other players into the area and the ball falls for them.
“I know he’s a Cardiff player and I want Cardiff to succeed, but I think Kieffer Moore is going to end up in the Premier League.
“A little more training with him, a little more time he started out of the league and when non-league players keep playing higher like Jamie Vardy they sprint naturally and work hard.
“They all had to make a living there on £ 300 or £ 400 a week, where if you don’t try the manager will throw you out.
“So he’s got that in him, it’s just the other stuff now, the finesse and a little bit of coaching to know when he’s going to be back on goal, I think he’ll play in the Premier League.”
Can Moore show what he can do against Denmark?