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Wales boss expects Ramsey to stay as Bale turns new Page
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Jamie Gordon
Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale have both earned a deserved place in Welsh footballing history
Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale have both earned a deserved place in Welsh footballing history

Rob Page is confident Aaron Ramsey will not walk away from Wales following Gareth Bale's retirement.

The Dragons boss was speaking in the wake of his talisman confirming he will hang up his boots aged 33 yesterday.

And with the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign set to begin in March, Page believes 32-year-old Ramsey will not follow his legendary team-mate into retirement.

He said: "I think Aaron’s still got a lot of to give Welsh football — that will be my message to him when we have that conversation.

"You look at the stats from the European qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers and the tournament itself, in terms of distance covered and sprints, he tops the table.

"There’s still a lot of football to be played from Aaron’s point of view and he’s still a great player.

"Whether he can do it consistently in back-to-back games, that’s another question, but he’s still got a lot to offer. I don’t envisage two or three others doing the same [as Bale]."


Bale spoke to Page on Sunday to let him know about his decision and the Wales boss confirmed he is eager to have the all-time great around the camp.

He added: "It was a brief conversation and I said I would love for him to stay involved. When you've got a player like Gareth Bale, you want to keep them involved in some capacity.

"It's got to be right for him and his family and we'll see how we can make it happen. He is passionate about his country and our football team in particular. 

"Without putting myself 100% on it, I think he'll be more than happy to help out in any way that's needed."

Time to say goodbye

Bale, Wales' most capped player and highest goalscorer, was renowned for his work ethic in training despite his superstar status and Page believes his timing was right due to the demands on his body.

He explained: "When he trained, he trained. I wish the supporters could come to watch as some of the magic he produced in training was incredible. 

"Later on in his career he couldn’t sustain that for three or four days a week but, the days that he did train, he was the ultimate professional. 

"That’s why I wanted young players to come in and see how he conducts himself on and off the pitch. When he works, he works.

"When you put that much time and energy into maintaining and managing your body, it’s a big ask.

"So I think he’s had a nice time with his family over Christmas, he’s passionate about golf so there might be the odd round over the next few weeks.

"I think he’s at the stage of life now where he’s thinking, ‘Do I need to be doing that?’ 

"I said on Sunday, ‘I agree, I think it is the right time for you, Gareth. You’ve done everything you wanted to achieve in football, you’ve taken Wales to a World Cup, you’ve scored in a World Cup.’"

Gareth Bale and Rob Page led Wales into their first World Cup since 1958
Gareth Bale and Rob Page led Wales into their first World Cup since 1958

Wales play Croatia on March 25 and Page revealed he already has an idea of who will take over the armband from Bale.

He said: "It'll come as no surprise when it's eventually announced. We've got a good group of players and there are senior players who lead by example anyway. But there's one that stands out for me.

"We've already pre-empted this. There'll be a right time and place and I'll be announcing it, but I have got someone in mind."


WalesGareth Bale
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