Arsenal could have lost Aaron Ramsey to rugby

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From a young age, Aaron Ramsey dreamt of wearing the No.10 for his country Wales.

But it wasn't football that had caught the eye of Arsenal's player of the season so far. As a youngster, Ramsey only ever dreamt of playing Wales' national sport, rugby.

Growing up in the town of Caerphilly, Ramsey wanted to emulate the great fly-halves of Welsh rugby rather than the flying winger Ryan Giggs.

 Far from just trying his hand at the sport, Ramsey almost made it in the physical game after being invited for trials at rugby union side Newport Gwent Dragons and rugby league side St Helens.

"I like to think I would have made it if I’d chosen rugby," he told the Daily Mail.

"I started off playing rugby league as well as union. I switched between fly-half and wing but I preferred to play fly-half. I liked to be at the heart of everything. I liked to be involved.

"I was a good reader of a rugby match. I could kick, too. Playing football obviously helped me with striking a ball, and I enjoyed the physical side of it. I think that has helped me overcome my injury problems but out there on the rugby pitch I liked things to come through me."

Ramsey's ability to read the game, as well as his love for the physical side of the game, has allowed him to relaunch his Arsenal career after struggling to overcome a serious leg break in 2010.

The 22-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on Boxing Day, has scored 15 goals for club and country this season, leading Arsene Wenger to confirm that he wouldn't part with the Welsh wonder for £50m.

The Arsenal midfielder says his vision, which he seems to have been born with, is crucial to his success on the pitch.

"As a midfielder you have to have vision," he says. "If you see an opening that might create an opportunity, you have to believe in yourself and go for it; a 40-yard pass or an eye-of-the-needle ball. You have to feel you are going to make it. That’s the way I play. I have a picture in my mind and I go for it."


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Aaron Ramsey
Premier League

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