Ramsey urges Bellamy to consider Wales future

The Gunners midfielder is hopeful that the Liverpool striker will continue representing his country despite reports that he is considering international retirement
Aaron Ramsey says that he hopes Craig Bellamy continues to play for Wales beyond Wednesday's match against Costa Rica in honour of the late Gary Speed.

Due to Ramsey's absence through injury, Bellamy will lead the Welsh out in what could prove to be his last international outing.

The Liverpool striker is thought to be considering his international future after being dogged by fitness issues in the past.

However, he is seen as an integral part of Chris Coleman's plans, with Ramsey stating the immense influence he has on the squad.

"Craig has been a massive part of our success," he told reporters.

"He has proven he still has the ability to cause a threat and he has huge experience. We hope he stays because he still has a lot to offer and he could be a major part in the future success of Wales."

Bellamy, who played with Speed at Newcastle, was visibly affected by his former team-mate and manager's death, and, as a result, has failed to commit beyond this fixture.

Despite this, Coleman has revealed that he held talks with Wales' fifth-highest all-time goalscorer and described them as 'positive'.

"When he's ready, he'll come out and say what he wants to do," Coleman said.

"I have to try and put myself in Craig's shoes. He has known Gary a long time and was very close to him and his family.

"He came out of retirement for Gary. And Gary is not here now. It's not an easy one for him.

"I won't take it to heart if he comes out and says that he won't do it. I will understand. I hope that's not the situation."

"I've known Bellers a long time. I'm not saying our relationship is the same as it was with Gary's. But he knows me and the way I work.

"It doesn't have to be a love affair to work. Not that I dislike Craig because I like him. I have a lot of respect for him.

"I hope he stays with us because we need a Craig Bellamy, like most teams do on and off the park. You know what his mentality is like, he's a winner, he wants things done right.

"Personally I want Craig to stay and I hope he does. I will do my best to keep him because we're a better team and a better squad with him about.

"Craig has played a lot of football and has had knee problems so that needs to be looked at. But he has won a lot of caps and has paid his dues."

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