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Ramsey backs decision not to move Wales' Euro qualifiers

Aaron Ramsey has backed the decision not to move Wales' remaining Euro 2016 qualifiers to the 74,500-seater Millennium Stadium.

Wales are unbeaten halfway through their qualifying campaign and trail Group B leaders Belgium only on goal difference as Chris Coleman's side seek to end the country's 58-year wait for an appearance at a major tournament.

Beating Belgium, the world's third ranked team, on June 12 would bring that finals dream even closer and huge interest in the game has led to pressure on the Football Association of Wales to switch the game from the Cardiff City Stadium to the home of Welsh rugby.

But the FAW has resisted those calls, believing the 33,000-capacity Cardiff City Stadium provides a better atmosphere that will boost their qualifying hopes.

Arsenal midfielder Ramsey has now become the first player in Coleman's squad to publicly back that decision.

"We're very happy playing at Cardiff City Stadium," he said. 

"That's what we've been used to now - if we were at the Millennium it still feels empty even with the amount of fans we've been getting there.

"Instead we've got a sell-out, a great atmosphere and the pitch is really good, whereas when we used to play at the Millennium the pitch used to cut up and was a bit bobbly.

"We have none of those issues playing where we are and the players are comfortable.

"That's the important thing, because the main focus is on us qualifying. The way we play too, trying to get the ball down, we want the ball running true and fast and we know we can get that at Cardiff."

The Belgium game has already sold out and Coleman will be hoping his star man Bale can put his problems at Real Madrid behind him with half the campaign remaining.

Bale's future in Spain has been the subject of intense scrutiny, with sections of the Madrid media and Real's fan base turning on the world's most expensive player in recent months.

But Bale shrugged off his problems at the Bernabeu when he scored twice in Wales' 3-0 away victory over Israel in March.

"Gareth enjoys coming away with Wales, you can see that in his attitude when he plays," Ramsey said.

"He enjoys it, enjoys coming back home and being part of things.

"It was the same against Israel and he scored two goals, I'm sure whatever's going on over there will be put to the back of his mind and he'll be fully concentrating on the Belgium game.

"It's going to be the biggest international game I've played in with the amount that's riding on it.

"But the team are ready, we've had some good results and we're going in the right direction.

"Every time we meet up now we're switched on and know what we're trying to do."


Headlines for Wales this week

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  • Ramsey backs decision not to move Wales' Euro qualifiers


  • Aaron Ramsey has backed the decision not to move Wales' remaining Euro 2016 qualifiers to the 74,500-seater Millennium Stadium.

  • Wales hit new ranking high of 22 as England also climb


  • Wales are up to their highest position of 22 in FIFA's latest rankings.

  • Tickets sold out for Wales' European Qualifier against Belgium


  • ​​Wales' all-important European Qualifier against Belgium this summer has sold out.

  • Swansea manager Garry Monk hoping to feel benefit of international break


  • Swansea manager Garry Monk believes international duty can have a positive impact on players at club level.

  • Team GB football side absence at Rio 2016 Olympics disappoints Stuart Pearce


  • Former Team GB men’s football boss Stuart Pearce has echoed the Football Association’s disappointment after the governing body abandoned plans to enter teams at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

  • Wales manager Chris Coleman believes his side will not choke in European Qualifiying


  • Wales manager Chris Coleman is convinced their European Qualifying campaign will not fizzle out as they look to secure their place at a major finals for the first time since the 1958 World Cup.

  • Gareth Bale says he takes criticism of his form with a pinch of salt


  • Gareth Bale insists he has nothing to prove to anybody after playing a starring role in a vital victory for Wales in Saturday's European Qualifier in Israel.

  • Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey bullish over Belgium clash after 3-0 win in Israel


  • Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey is confident of cementing top spot by upsetting Group B favourites Belgium when the sides meet in a European Qualifier on June 12.

  • No Team GB football teams for 2016 Brazil Olympics


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  • Israel 0-3 Wales: Gareth Bale's double sends Wales top of Group B


  • Gareth Bale scored two and set up another as Wales moved to the top of Group B in the European Qualifiers with a 3-0 win over 10-man Israel in Haifa.

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