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SOCCER

Aaron Ramsey replaces Gareth Bale as Wales captain

Gareth Bale’s decision to retire from football in January means that Aaron Ramsey will return to the captain’s role - one he held from from 2011 to 2012.

Update:
Gareth Bale y Aaron Ramsey, con Gales.
GEOFF CADDICKAFP

Aaron Ramsey has been appointed captain of Wales’ national team in the wake of Gareth Bale’s decision to retire from professional football at the start of the New Year. The 33-year-old announced that he was hanging up his boots for good in January, having led Wales into their first World Cup since 1958 in Qatar last year. Wales’ campaign was somewhat disappointing - they finished bottom of Group B with just one point - from the 1-1 draw against the United States.

Having won a record-breaking 111 caps for his country, Bale will be succeeded by the player occupying joint-seventh in their all-time appearance list: former Arsenal and Juventus midfielder Ramsey.

All-time appearances for Wales

  • Gareth Bale - 111
  • Chris Gunter - 109
  • Wayne Hennessay - 108
  • Neville Southall - 92
  • Ashley Williams - 86
  • Gary Speed - 85
  • Craig Bellamy - 78
  • Aaron Ramsey - 78
  • Joe Ledley - 77
  • Ben Davies - 77

Ramsey moved to France in search of regular playing time following a frustrating loan spell at Rangers last season, and has made 21 league appearances for Nice, who he joined on a free transfer in August. The 32-year-old already has experience of captaining Wales after being named skipper by Gary Speed in 2011, though Chris Coleman opted to hand the armband to Ashley Williams one year later.

The announcement came as head coach Rob Page named a 24-man squad for Wales’ opening Euro 2024 qualifiers against Croatia and Latvia later this month, with the team looking to qualify for a third-consecutive edition of the tournament. Page named four uncapped players in his squad for those fixtures, namely midfielders Jordan James and Ollie Cooper, Fulham youngster Luke Harris and striker Nathan Broadhead. Wales travel to Split to face Croatia on Saturday 25 March then host Latvia three days later in Cardiff.