Winger Gareth Bale was quick to play down the idea that Welsh fortunes at Euro 2016 in France rested on his shoulders after the team heavily relied on the Real Madrid winger to guide them to their first international tournament finals since 1958.
The 26-year-old scored seven goals during Wales’s European qualifying campaign, three of which were winners.
“It’s never a one-man team. For us it’s a squad thing. We’re ‘Together Stronger’ and it’s there for a reason — we don’t just say it for no reason,” Bale, a five-times Welsh player of the year, told reporters on Thursday.
“We all work hard as one unit — we attack as one and we defend as one. When we lose the ball we all fight back to get it.”
Chris Coleman’s team kick off their European Championship campaign in Group B against Slovakia on Saturday before facing England and Russia.
Bale insisted Wales would not be satisfied if they went out at the group stage of the 24-team tournament.
“I have been playing for Wales for 10 years and it was a massive goal of mine to get to a major championship,” the twice Champions League winner said.
“We have achieved that but we do not want to come here and make up the numbers. We have done something amazing that we have not done in a long time but now we want to do even better.”
Security has been a concern for the tournament, especially after the Paris attacks in November, and Germany defender Jerome Boateng said recently he would not be bringing his family to stadiums.
Bale admitted he was not entirely comfortable with bringing his family to France either but said he remained solely focused on matters on the pitch.
“You always have a little fear. What went on in Paris was not nice. You have feelings about your friends and family coming over but it is one of those things,” Bale said.
“We have to put it to the back of our minds, these things cannot stop your life, you must try to live as normal.”