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If Wales performs miracles at the upcoming soccer World Cup, then Michael Sheen may have played his own small part.
The Welsh actor has gone viral on social media for the second time in as many weeks for his rousing pre-tournament pep talks for the Wales men’s national soccer team as they enter final preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where they face England, Iran and the U.S. in the group stages.
Two weeks ago, the Good Omens star, appearing on the British game show A League Of Their Own, seemingly riffed an off-the-cuff spine-tingling speech for the Welsh team that drew upon myth, legend, national identity and much more.
“A victory song that floats through the valleys, like a red mist, rolls over the mountain tops, like crimson thunder,” Sheen roared in the first speech as he left the studio audience and panel guests stunned. “A red storm is coming to the gates of Qatar!”
Clips of the speech, worthy of any Hollywood sports movie, spread like wildfire on social media, and Wales team manager Rob Page was moved to ask the actor to come and give another speech to the team directly in person.
Sheen duly obliged and on Monday the footage of the new speech similarly began to trend on social media.
“Close your eyes and feel the breath on the back of your necks. Because that’s every man, woman and child in this old land standing there with you at your backs. That’s the people of Wales, your people,” Sheen says in the new speech. “Feel their breath quickening with yours. Hear their blood drumming in your ears, pounding through your heart, bursting through your chest. That’s the blood of Wales, your blood, red as the ancient book of dreams. Red as the rising flag of Merthyr. Red as the great wall of Gwalia. Because that’s what you carry with you, boys.”
He continues: “Across 64 years, across half the span of the world. It’s there, on your chest. It’s there, at your back. It’s there, at your side. They always say, we are too small, too, slow, too weak, too full of fear, but yma o hyd, you sons of Speed! With that red wall around us, we are still here!”
Wales begin their World Cup campaign against the U.S. at 2 p.m. ET, on Nov. 21 on Fox and Telemundo.
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