The Football Association of Wales has paid tribute to national team manager Gary Speed who has died aged 42.
Speed, who made over 800 career appearances for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United, was found dead at his home on Sunday morning.
He also won 85 caps for Wales, making him the country's second most-capped player, before he was appointed as manager in December 2010.
A statement on the FAW website said: "Gary was appointed one year ago and was given the brief to prepare the Wales senior squad for qualification to the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"During his year in charge, the results and performances in the final European Championship qualifiers and friendly games suggested that there were strong grounds for optimism that the team could challenge for a place in the finals in three years' time.
"As a player, Gary had an exemplary career. A versatile player who could feature in midfield as well as defence, he won 85 international caps over a period of 15 years between 1990 and 2004 before retiring at the end of Mark Hughes' time as manager.
"Many felt that he still had further international years in him, but he used the time to continue his club career, eventually making more than 750 first-team appearances."
It added: "All at the FAW admired Gary's passion for the job and task of taking the team back up the European and World rankings.
"With the qualifying dates for the next World Cup group agreed only last week in Brussels, there was much to look forward to over the next few years.
"That this tragedy should have overtaken someone so young and talented is a huge loss not only for his family and friends but a nation as a whole."
FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said: "I, and all of the football family of Wales, am devastated by the news of Gary's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this difficult time."
FAW president Phil Pritchard added: "I am completely shocked by this terrible news and my thoughts are with his family. We will do whatever we can as an association to help them in this difficult time.
"All our thoughts are with his family and this sad time."