Hal Robson-Kanu has revealed he could be persuaded to pull on a Wales shirt again if his country needs him.
The 44-cap Wales striker, immortalised for his brilliant individual goal against Belgium in the quarter finals of Euro 2016, called time on his international career last year to spend more time with his young family.
Still plying his club trade for West Bromwich Albion in the Championship, the 30-year-old told S4C’s Mwy o Sgorio programme that he is watching the current Wales crop with interest, but insists that he’s happy to spectate for the time being.
Robson-Kanu said: “It was a difficult decision for me to retire. I’ve got a young family and a lot of commitments to them and it’s not easy to be away for such long periods over the course of a season, and particularly with the games at club level as well, it does take a lot out of you. I just needed that break and that respite.
“I’m not going to rule anything out in the future but I think there’s more than enough quality in the group now for the boys to have the success that we all want. I have some very special memories, but from my perspective now, I’m very much just supporting the team and I hope the boys can do the nation proud.”
Robson-Kanu also scored the winning goal in the team’s Euro 2016 opener against Slovakia, the same opponents who Wales face in Bratislava tonight in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. The match will be shown live on S4C’s Sgorio at 7.25pm.
Hal – i ddod nôl? 😉
— ⚽ Sgorio (@sgorio) October 10, 2019
“These two games coming up are massive,” he added. “We need three points from each game. It’s going to be difficult, but the boys are well equipped to get the results. There’s four games left, so 12 points up for grabs.
“If we start well and get three points in the first game, then there’s no reason why we can’t get them in the second. I’ve followed all the games and kept close tabs on the boys. They have my support continually.”
Despite being a relatively young retiree from the international game, Robson-Kanu remains a firm favourite with the red wall and is still regularly quizzed about that goal in Lille.
“Wales fans ask me about the goal and I get asked about it in different countries as well, whether I’m on holiday or whether I’m in Cardiff, Swansea or London. It’s always a topic for discussion.
“I’m not going to complain, it was a special moment for myself, the team and the nation. Those are the moments that everyone plays football for. Fingers crossed Wales can have a few more of those in the future.
“The chant has stayed with me but it was the support that did it for me, as a Welsh international. Every time I stepped across that white line, hearing that roar from the red wall, it was very, very special. That definitely helped us get to where we wanted to get to.
“I had a few messages after the tournament, saying ‘you’ll never have to buy a drink in Wales again’. I went out for dinner in Wales a couple of months later and the dinner was paid for!
“It’s always nice but I’m just pleased that as a nation, we had something to shout about because up until that point we’d been through some difficult times. We’ve got a level now and it’s about maintaining that level and seeing if we can keep going again.”
Watch the full interview with Hal Robson-Kanu on Mwy o Sgorio, at https://www.s4c.cymru/clic/programme/805604956. Live coverage of Slovakia v Wales (tonight, 7.25pm) and Wales v Croatia (Sunday, 7.15pm) will be shown live by the Sgorio team on S4C.