Euro 2016 qualifying: Wales' Aaron Ramsey on Belgium mission

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Axel Witsel of Belgium and Aaron Ramsey of Wales tussle for the ball
Aaron Ramsey will win his 34th Wales cap when they play Belgium
Euro 2016 qualifier: Wales v Belgium
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Friday, 12 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Aaron Ramsey will bid for a memorable end-of-season double when Wales take on Belgium in a key Euro 2016 qualifier at Cardiff City Stadium on 12 June.

The midfielder, 24, joined the Wales squad on Wednesday having been given a few days off following Arsenal's FA Cup win over Aston Villa last Saturday.

Now he hopes to make it a momentous end to the campaign by beating Belgium.

"Half of it is done. Hopefully the other half will be completed on Friday," said Ramsey.

Wales will draw confidence from their 0-0 draw away to the Group B favourites in Brussels last November.

Chris Coleman's side also held Belgium to a 1-1 draw at the close of the World Cup qualification campaign in October 2013, with with Ramsey scoring Wales' late equaliser.

'Be loud', Aaron Ramsey tells Wales fans for Belgium game

But Ramsey, who will earn his 34th cap, warns that Belgium - who have moved to second in the Fifa world rankings - are dangerous opponents.

"It is not going to be an easy game, you don't get to number two in the world for nothing. They have great quality in their team, they can hurt you from all over the pitch," Ramsey said.

"But we are in good form ourselves, we are looking forward to showing what we can do against them.

"We have had a couple of good results against them away from home, that is not an easy thing to do."

Tickets for Friday's encounter were sold out within days of Wales's 3-0 win over Israel in Haifa, which maintained their unbeaten start to the European qualifiers.

"It's been a long time since we played in front of a sell-out, so we want to give our fans something to be proud of and something to enjoy," said former Cardiff City player Ramsey.

"It will be nice for us to experience that and hopefully we can work together and keep the fans."

The Wales players disperse this weekend for a short break, before stepping up their build-up to the game on Monday.

Ramsey said the longer than usual get-together to prepare for the game had been helpful to "shake a few cobwebs" from some of the Football League players, whose club commitments ended more than a month ago.

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group B

Manager Coleman will use the weekend squad break to watch Belgium in action in a friendly against France, at the Stade de France, on Sunday night.

Then on Friday, Ramsey will again face Christian Benteke, the Aston Villa striker, who Arsenal subdued in their FA Cup final victory.

Ramsey recalled: "We (Arsenal) did really well against them and him personally. We nullified the threat. We knew they liked to get crosses in, he is dangerous in the air.

"We stopped the crosses and every time the ball did go in, our keeper [Wojciech Szczesny] came out and punched it clear."

But Ramsey is still wary of the threat posed by Benteke: "He is capable of scoring many goals and he can bully centre-backs.

"So we will have to be aware of him, aware of his threat and try to keep him quiet on the night."

Ramsey, who will be looking for his 10th international goal, will go into the game full of confidence after collecting his second FA Cup winner's medal in as many seasons with Arsenal.

"I was buzzing. Two wins in two years is a great achievement and credit to the lads that we have managed to do that," he added.

"We deserved the celebrations afterwards, but I am fine, fit and healthy and just looking forward to being a part of this, to hopefully put on a good performance against Belgium."

Aaron Ramsey scored Wales' equaliser away to Belgium in a World Cup qualifier in 2013
Aaron Ramsey scored Wales' equaliser away to Belgium in a World Cup qualifier in 2013
Aaron Ramsey (L) hands the FA Cup to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at Wembley
Aaron Ramsey (L) hands the FA Cup to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at Wembley