Aaron Ramsey said it was a deliberate decision for him to miss training just over 48 hours before Wales’ Euro 2020 opener against Switzerland.
Ramsey’s form record has been a huge cause for concern for Wales, with the Juventus midfielder only playing in 19 of the 44 games he has played since reaching the semi-finals. Euro 2016 finals.
The 30-year-old ran out of playing time ahead of the clash against Switzerland on Saturday, but insists Wales fans should not be alarmed that he did not attend the The squad’s penultimate pre-match training session in Baku.
“I was expected to stay standing,” Ramsey said.
“It was a very light session for the boys. I’m doing fine and looking forward to Saturday.”
Ramsey’s club career over the past two seasons has also been plagued by injuries.
He has only started 24 league appearances for Juventus since joining Arsenal in 2019, which has led him to place more emphasis on his own fitness.
“It’s been a pretty tough time for the past two seasons, but I have my own team around me who are focused on me to be in the best shape possible,” said Ramsey.
“Football is a team sport and above all a team issue. But maybe some players need more attention, and I took it in hand.
“I have the right people around me to find the best possible plan to get me back to a place where I feel good and confident again.
“The Welsh staff and the medical team have been brilliant, open to discussion.
“It’s important to be on the same page. But I have known a lot of Welsh staff for a long time, back at Arsenal, and they understand me.
“They know my body, what I need, and I hope we can all play a part in putting me in the best place.”
Ramsey came on in the 59th minute in the 3-0 friendly loss to France last week.
He then had an hour under his belt in the final warm-up against Albania at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, being deployed as a false nine instead of playing in his usual number 10 position in the 0-0 draw. .
“It was a new role for me,” Ramsey said of the fake nine role. “But this is something that we have worked on and that I am trying to familiarize myself with.
“The starting position is much higher and you play a little more with your back to the goal.
“You rely on the other players to do those races behind if I go a little further.
“It’s very different. But a lot of Premier League teams have had a lot of success doing it, and if done right it can be effective.
“I don’t know which road we’re going to take, but it’s something we’ve put into practice and it’s an option for us.”
Ramsey was recognized for his outstanding performance at Euro 2016 by being named to the official tournament squad.
At the time, he sported a dyed blonde hairstyle – but this time he passed that look to England midfielder Phil Foden.
Asked about Foden’s new hairstyle, Ramsey said, “To the players who did it (dye their hair), whatever floats their boat if you will.
“It wasn’t that easy this time around due to Covid restrictions on bringing in a barber to dye it.
“Maybe I would have done it if it hadn’t been for Covid. It was a little more difficult than a few years ago.
“You would have to bring in the hairdresser for testing (Covid) – and it wasn’t worth the risk.”
Notebook: How will Wales fare against euros?
Wales are stepping up preparations for Euro 2020 after arriving in Azerbaijan ahead of their first two group matches.
Rob Page’s side play three Group A games in nine days, starting with Switzerland on June 12 in Baku. They also face Italy and Turkey.
Gareth Bale’s return to form towards the end of the Premier League season bodes well for Wales, who reached the semi-finals in 2016 and will need their captain at their best if they are to replicate this feat.
But what about the rest of the team?
Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hugues tells Sky Sports Football Euros podcast how he thinks Wales will fare at Euro 2020, the impact of Page and his pre-tournament selection dilemmas.
Choose your Wales team to start Euro 2020
Who would you choose to start Wales’ Euro 2020 opener against Switzerland? Choose with our team selector …