Aaron Ramsey says Wales are not at Euro 2016 “to make up the numbers” and have the quality to make a big impact.
The Welsh have not been to a major tournament in 58 years, but will line up in Group B alongside England, Russia and Slovakia.
Ramsey is looking forward to Saturday’s opener against Slovakia, and says the whole squad is taking the experience in their stride.
"We’ve got a population of 3.5 million and we haven’t done it for 58 years, so for us to achieve that is quite special. The players should definitely be proud of that and we just can’t wait to get started"
“It’s such a good achievement for us [to reach the Euros],” he told Arsenal Player. “We’ve got a population of 3.5 million and we haven’t done it for 58 years, so for us to achieve that is quite special. The players should definitely be proud of that and we just can’t wait to get started.
“It’s important for us to take it all in, enjoy every minute of it, but we also need to be serious. We don’t just want to go there to make up the numbers.
“We’ve done well, we’re quite a dangerous team and we want to get out of the group. Who knows what can happen from there?
“It’s going to be strange but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I hear all the stories from the World Cup and things like that, and it’s something that I’ve wanted to experience myself. I’m going to be able to tell a few of my stories now.”
Ramsey also paid tribute to the late Gary Speed, for his role in the evolution of Welsh football.
“He’s the guy who got the ball rolling,” he said. “He made everything professional, got the right people in, got us playing the way we wanted and he gave me the armband as well.
“I’ll forever be grateful for that opportunity and he means a lot to the team too. He’s the one who got everything started.
“I’m sure he’ll be looking down on us and he’ll be really, really proud of what this team’s achieved. We’re just thankful and grateful that we had him as the manager who played a part in getting us there.”
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