Euro 2016: Wales can beat Portugal without me - Ramsey

Wales' Aaron Ramsey says his team can beat Portugal without him on Wednesday and reach the Euro 2016 final.

Along with key defender Ben Davies, Ramsey is suspended for the historic semi-final after being booked for handball in the 3-1 win over Belgium.

"It was a sort of natural reaction and I knew straight away it was a yellow," said the 25-year-old midfielder.

"I'm really gutted. I'm confident in the players we have to step in and get us to the final."

Ramsey made two of Wales' goals as part of a sparkling individual display that helped them reach the last four of a major tournament for the first time.

The influential Arsenal player now has four assists in five games in France, the joint-highest in the finals along with Belgium forward Eden Hazard.

Ramsey, whose other booking came in stoppage-time during the last-16 win over Northern Ireland, added: "It was up there with the best performances of my career, especially on the stage that it was.

"I wanted to stand up and be counted, so I am delighted I was able to help my team and grab a couple of assists that meant we won quite comfortably in the end.

"Now we have to beat Portugal. I am sure it will sink in before then that I will not be playing - but I will be right behind my team, cheering them on and kicking every ball. I will be right in the mix of it, so hopefully they can do it."

Davies our stand-out defender - Chester

Davies, who plays on the left-hand side of three centre-backs, will also miss the biggest night in Welsh football history after his caution for a first-half foul on Kevin de Bruyne.

Like Ramsey, the Tottenham defender has played in every Wales game in France, but is suspended after picking up two bookings - his other came for a foul on Adam Lallana during the 2-1 defeat by England in the group stage.

West Ham's James Collins is likely to replace Davies against Portugal, while Jonny Williams could come into midfield for Ramsey.

"Obviously it is a blow because Ben and Aaron have started every game for us," said fellow defender James Chester.

"Aaron has undoubtedly got amazing ability, but the amount of work he puts in sometimes gets overlooked, while I think Ben has been our stand-out defender in the tournament.

"The biggest thing we have in our squad now is strength in depth and players who are playing at the top level - so hopefully it will not hamper us too much."

'Everyone is ready to step in'

Other Wales players talked about how emotional the dressing room was after the Belgium game, and manager Chris Coleman spoke of his sympathy for the suspended duo.

When he stopped to face the media in the early hours of Saturday, Ramsey was clearly torn between immense pride at his part in a memorable victory and the knowledge he will only feature again at Euro 2016 if Wales reach the final at Paris' Stade de France on 10 July.

"It was a very special night for us," Ramsey added. "We have a great team, great staff and great fans - and when you have the right balance then special nights like this can happen.

"Of course everyone is ready to step in for myself and Ben. Everyone wants to achieve something special for each other. We are a team and we showed it against Belgium.

"The fact it is Gareth Bale versus [Real Madrid team-mate] Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday is going to be mentioned - but Gareth will tell you himself that it is not about that.

"It is about this team showing what we are capable of doing and getting to the final."

Wales' Aaron Ramsey is booked against Belgium
Aaron Ramsey has four assists in five games at Euro 2016

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