Aaron Ramsey has backed Wales to get to the Euro 2016 final without him – and says his display against Belgium was “one of the best” of his career.
Ramsey and defender Ben Davies will both miss Wednesday’s historic semi-final against Portugal after picking up their second bookings of the tournament against Belgium.
Wales produced a magnificent performance to win 3-1 in Lille on Friday night, with Ramsey setting up two of the goals to take his number of assists at Euro 2016 to four and thus becoming the top-ranked player in our ratings.
However, a handball in the quarter-final means the Arsenal midfielder will play no part against the Portuguese in Lyon.
“It was a sort of natural reaction and I knew straight away it was a yellow,” Ramsey said of the incident.
“I’m really gutted. But I’m confident in the players we have to step in and get us to the final.”
Ramsey has been a big part of Wales’ success in France and he has been responsible for more goals at Euro 2016 than any other player.
The 25-year-old also scored in the 3-0 group game victory against Russia to add to his four assists.
“It (Belgium game) was up there with the best performances of my career, especially on the stage that it was,” said Ramsey, whose other booking came in stoppage-time during the last-16 win over Northern Ireland.
“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 also misses out against Portugal after picking up an early booking for bringing down Belgium forward Kevin De Bruyne.
The Tottenham defender is likely to be replaced by James Collins, but Ramsey feels Wales have enough strength in depth to cover with the loss of two first-choice players.
“Of course everyone is ready to step in for myself and Ben,” said Ramsey.
“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.”
On beating Belgium, who are ranked second in the world, Ramsey added: “It was a very special night for us.
“We have a great team, great staff and great fans – and when you have the right balance then special nights like this can happen.
“It is about this team showing what we are capable of doing and getting to the final.”