CHRIS Coleman is backing Wales’ incredible team spirit to take them past Portugal tonight and complete a fairytale journey to the final of Euro 2016

Wales are the smallest nation ever to make a semi-final in a major tournament and they will be underdogs once again when they take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Lyon.

It is a fifth European Championships semi-final for Portugal, who have lost three of their four so far.

Coleman’s men have already exceeded expectations by making it to the last four.

He admits that he never thought Wales would be in this position but he believes they can go one better and book their place in Sunday’s final in Paris.

“When I looked at the group we were in the tournament, I thought we were capable of getting out of the group,” explained the Wales boss.

“You never know who you'll get in the last 16, and then the quarter-final. I thought that was a possibility. I told the players that.

“I didn't know what would happen after that, if I'm honest. But we've got a good team.

“Where we find ourselves now, it hasn't happened overnight,” he added.

“The players, the bonds they have together, that's easy now to say we have great team spirit. It's easy to say that on a shiny day, and it's real. But it came from the darker days.”

Coleman insists that Wales’ journey, from 117th in the world to the top four in Europe, is not over yet – win or lose tonight.

“People think the end of this tournament is the end of this journey, but it's not. It's part of the journey,” he said.

“These boys will be here long after I'm here. This success is part of the learning process. We're here to compete and learn, and let's see if our best is enough to compete against the best.”

And, after watching his side fight back from a goal down to beat Belgium 3-1 in the quarter-final, Coleman believes his side can write another chapter in the Welsh football history books tonight.

“We believe in each other,” he said. “We'll go into this game as the underdogs.

“Portugal have been in seven semi-finals in tournaments. This is our first one. We'll be the underdogs. No problem.

“It's about Wales, the players, about them walking on to the pitch knowing they're safe in each other's hands. They trust each other, as they should.

“It's only about us, what our core values are and what we believe in.

“You're not guaranteed a happy result, but you can guarantee knowing you offered what you offered, and that's all we can ask for.”

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