Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey [Source: Reuters]
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been named captain following Gareth Bale’s retirement to lead his country in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, the Welsh FA announced.
Ramsey has done the job before, having been made Wales skipper aged 20 by the late Gary Speed in March 2011 before Ashley Williams inherited the armband.
The 32-year-old is one of the most senior figures in the Wales camp with 78 caps and ideally suited to lead the young 24-man squad named by head coach Rob Page.
“As long as we have someone of Aaron’s quality, it’s natural for him (to be captain). He has a responsibility to the younger players and teach them what it’s all about,” Page said in a statement.
“All the experience he has from the last time he was made captain… He’s already relishing it and embracing it as captain again,” the coach added.
The 33-year-old Bale, who ended his career in January with 111 caps, retired from internationals along with Joe Allen, Chris Gunter and Jonny Williams after a disappointing World Cup in Qatar last year when Wales finished bottom of their group.
“We have learned from the experiences of the World Cup and we will carry that over into this campaign. We believe we can qualify for the big tournaments,” Page added.
His squad of youngsters includes Fulham’s Luke Harris, 17, and Birmingham City’s Jordan James, 18.
Having qualified for the last two Euros and last year’s World Cup, Wales open their Group D qualifying campaign on March 25 away to Croatia before Latvia visit the Cardiff City Stadium three days later. Turkey and Armenia are also in their group.