London 2012: Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey gunning for Olympic glory
Welshman could not miss out on ‘unique’ chance to represent Team GB
Aaron Ramsey has admitted he couldn’t miss the ‘unique’ chance to represent Team GB at London 2012 as they prepare to kick off their Olympic campaign on Thursday.
Ramsey is the only Arsenal player in Stuart Pearce’s 18-man squad that will see Great Britain represented in the men’s football event for the first time since the 1960 Games in Rome.
Team GB will face Senegal in their Group A opener at Old Trafford on Thursday, before heading back to London to meet United Arab Emirates at Wembley on Sunday. Ramsey will then get the chance to play in Wales in the final group game against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday (August 1).
The 21-year-old Arsenal midfielder says he had no doubts about taking up the offer to play in the tournament, after organisers originally feared other ‘home nation’ players outside England would not take part, and he is one of five Welsh players in the squad.
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“It was down to us whether we wanted to play or not and we chose to play,” said Ramsey. “We are all proud to be Welsh and we are representing our country as well as Great Britain.
“For me, it’s a unique thing and there’s going to be some great countries with great players involved, so it’s great to test yourself against them and we are looking forward to it.”
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Ramsey came off the substitutes’ bench in the 2-0 defeat to Brazil at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, and knows he may not make the starting XI against Senegal. The Welshman showed he had fully recovered from the horrific broken leg he suffered in February 2010 by making 36 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners last season, and he feels his best is still to come in an Arsenal shirt.
“I missed about 10 months, which stalled my progress and obviously it takes a bit of time to get over that as well afterwards.
“I have been pleased with what I have done so far, but I still think there is a lot more to come from me, and I am working hard and wanting to learn more every day to become the best player I can possibly become.”