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Friday, March 31, 2023

Ramsey’s rebirth at Nice after departure "vicious circle" in which he joined Juventus

“When Aaron Ramsey scores, a celebrity dies.” That phrase accompanied the Welshman for years when he shone at Arsenal. “It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. There have been many occasions where I’ve scored and someone has died. It’s crazy… even though I’ve knocked out bad guys!” he joked in an interview with ‘Sports -Magazine’ after being questioned about it.

This “sambenito” carried him while he was a key piece of some “Gunners” to which he arrived as a “child prodigy” for Cardiff City. “I was a midfielder and I would have liked to have his qualities. He can defend, attack and score. He’s also young, another quality I’ve lost. It can still get even better. Is magnificent. We wouldn’t sell him for £50m,” said an Arsène Wenger who shaped him during his time at the Emirates (2008-19).

However, the end of the French era led him to refuse a renewal with Arsenal and move to Juventus on a free transfer in 2019 with the highest salary received to date by a British player: 450,000 euros a week according to the ‘BBC’ ! His adventure in Turin, however, did not go well. Injuries (12, mostly muscle, in two and a half years that made him miss 31 games) and the distrust of Sarri, Pirlo and Allegri They made him not have a predominant role and spend more time on the bench and in the stands than on the pitch. He played 70 games, scoring six goals and giving as many assists.

And in the January 2022 transfer market, after playing five games (three in Serie A and 112 minutes in total) for Juve in the first half of 2021-22, he was loaned to Scottish Rangers. “I had no problems with Aaron. He is a great player and had a good start at Juvebut he had serious injury problems, he was out and we agreed that it was better for him to go out” Allegri said.

At Ibrox Park, Ramsey’s level of importance has risen. He participated in 13 games (632 minutes) scoring two goals and giving two assists. Also, in the Europa League final against Eintracht at the Pizjuán, the Welshman came on in extra time to take a penalty from the shoot-out… and Trapp took his shot, clinching the title for the German side. “He is sad and disappointed. He took responsibility for the pitch and he couldn’t do it, but I want players like that,” his coach pointed out, Gio van Bronckhorst. A bitter chapter of a season to forget that he is redeeming himself at Nice after closing the year he was missing with Turin.

Ramsey arrived on the French Riviera free in the summer and has played 25 games (1,389 minutes) for the seventh-placed team in Ligue 1 who have options to go to the quarter-finals of the Europa League (they won (0-1) in the first leg against Sheriff) . Played more games (18) and enjoyed more minutes (745) than last season between Rangers and Juventus and is close to his record since leaving Arsenal of 1,543′ in 2020-21 with the ‘black and whites’.

But what has changed? Phil Cadden, journalist of ‘Sun’ who has been following the Wales national team for years, explains to MARCA what happened to Ramsey in Turin. “At Juventus he showed flashes of quality, but a succession of injuries prevented him from making a good and continuous performance. Furthermore, due to his high salary, they always needed him to return as soon as possible. Aaron spoke openly about the way di Training at Juve, in high-intensity double sessions, didn’t help him in his recovery, he enjoyed himself in Italy, won Serie A, but a vicious circle of continuous illnesses and injuries was created that prevented him from play. for all parties had to come out”.

Ramsey needed to play to be fit for “playoff” qualification for the World Cup. His strong performances in those games against Austria and Ukraine were important for Wales to qualify for Qatar. And it was possible thanks to the training and playing minutes he had on loan at Rangers. He helped the team reach the Europa League final but, sadly, he will be remembered for his missed penalty in the shoot-out against Eintracht,” Cadden said.

The journalist gives some clues about his resurgence: “Even though he started calmly at Nice, Ramsey said before the World Cup that he was in his best moment in a long time. The club see him as a great footballer and he plays regularly. He’s had a couple of injuries though. This made him feel calm and regained his confidence, which is very important to him.. Furthermore, he is the new Wales captain and Page hopes his success in Ligue 1 translates into the international side. At the World Cup we have already seen that he is physically fit. He must have the ball in the center instead of chasing it. And in Nice he put in impressive performances.”

I believe you can always improve as a player and I try to work on the weaknesses of my game. For now I’m confident and I think I’m playing well, but the best is yet to come,” said Ramsey who scored a goal and two assists for Nice. The new Wales captain after Bale’s retirement, an icon along with all ‘former Real Madrid, one of the best ‘dragons’ ever, who played in two European Championships (2016 and 2020) and a World Cup (2022), is being reborn at the age of 32. It’s never too late.

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