Aaron Ramsey admits it is a 'special' honour for him to have been named Wales' youngest-ever captain. The Arsenal midfielder will lead his country into battle against England on Saturday in their Euro 2012 qualifier. Running out with the armband on at the Millennium Stadium will complete a remarkable turnaround for the youngster, who suffered an horrific broken leg while on club duty just over a year ago.
The 20-year-old, who was selected as skipper by Gary Speed ahead of more experienced colleagues, admits he is delighted to have been handed the captaincy and hopes his performances on the field will justify his manager's faith. "I feel over the moon and honoured to be captain of my country at such a young age," said Ramsey.
"Ever since I was a boy I have wanted to be a professional footballer and to captain my country one day. That day has come now and it's a very special moment for me. It was a bit of a surprise, but a very nice one. I am just happy that he [Speed] has given me this opportunity to become captain and now I hope to lead by example in the way I play. I won't be screaming and shouting. I just have to lead by example. There are 10 other players out there who could easily be captain.
"It's probably one of the biggest games you can play in. It's going to be a great and special occasion for me to lead the team out in front of a full house at home against England."
Aston Villa's James Collins and Swansea's Ashley Williams were among those believed to be in the running for the captaincy and Ramsey admits he is fortunate to have so many seasoned professionals alongside him. He said: "There is a lot of experience throughout the team. Craig Bellamy has been captain before, Collins has had lot of experience. I'm sure they won't need telling what to do, because they are so experienced."
Ramsey admits he would not want to be the one to have to tell Cardiff's on-loan frontman Bellamy that he was in the wrong, so he is hoping the former national skipper has a good game. He said with a smile: "I get on with Craig pretty well and we talk quite often. If he needs shouting at I won't be the one to do it, but hopefully that won't need to be done."
The Gunners starlet has also spoken of his joy and having seen his career turn full circle in the space of 12 months. "It just shows the highs and lows of football and how quickly things can turn around," he said. "I broke my leg just over a year ago and that was a really low period for me. This is now the best moment in my career so far and it's amazing how quickly things can turn around."