Finding his place on the European stage having helped Wales progress beyond the group stages of EURO 2016, Aaron Ramsey is a player pivotal to his nations success. Prior to heading out to France, we sat down with this player to get a unique perspective from an unrivalled journey.

Qualifying for the Euros, what was that first feeling like?

"It was an incredible feeling. Qualifying for the first tournament like this for 58 years. It's amazing for all the players. It will be the first time getting to a major finals for us all so naturally we're all looking forward to it. At the same time, we've been focused on getting out of the group and then see what happens. We are going to make sure we enjoy it but we don't want to be just another side to make up the numbers."

Making history in the process, your names are all going on record now as setting fresh highs for Welsh football. Is that something you've been able to digest?

"I think we all realise what we've achieved. You can sense that and there's a real buzz around the country. We're just proud to have achieved that but it's not something we've achieved without the fans. They've very much played their part as well in getting us through certain games. Hopefully now we can just enjoy this tournament together, it's massive for all of us."

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What was the moment like in those minutes after you qualified? It must have produced a pretty good party?

"Even though we lost the game, we still managed to qualify so there were a few beers drunk after the game, yeah."

What's it been like for those people around you? Your family has all got to be pretty proud?

"Yeah of course, my family are really proud. The fans, you can just feel this real excitement that we have finally achieved something. Wales have come so close in the past but never quite got over the mark. It's great that we've finally done that and I'm just really looking forward to it now and seeing how well we can do in the circumstances we face."

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Euros aside, when you get the opportunity to go back to Caerphilly, what's that like – do you still get to go into the local shop and grab a pick and mix and things like that?

"Haha, I try and get back as much as I can. I haven't got back for a little while because I've got a little boy now but yeah, a lot of my family are still there. My wife's family are there as well so it's very much somewhere I like to go."

Will your family be traveling out to France?

"Yeah some of them will, not sure who will be going to the games right now but they've been really looking forward to it too."

What are your memories of watching Wales play? Obviously they didn't get to the same levels you have but there must be some good memories in there.

"There are some really good memories. When Wales beat Germany 1-0, I think Earnshaw scored. When we beat Italy 2-1, coming close to qualifying for major tournaments and just not quite getting over the line. The Millenium Stadium would be sold out with 70,000 people going to watch some of those games and it was a real occasion. Wales is a country that is really passionate about being Welsh and supporting the team. When you're doing well you can really feel that."

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What's it like now, looking back and you can see yourself in a sticker album. That must be a little surreal?

"It's funny but it's something you get used to. When it first sort of happens though, you are really pleased and proud. There's a strong sense of achievement in that you know you've become a professional football player and that's what I've worked hard to be able to do. All the work that I put in, in the early days has gone it to get to places like that. When you do finally break-through, you get that contract and then make it to the first team, there's a great sense of pride. Then the little things like that [being in a sticker album] come around and you have to pinch yourself at the beginning."

You're very much part of the New Balance family, what's that been like as a set up?

"Yeah they have been brilliant. It is a very family orientated business. It's a very close unit and I know a lot of faces and have a good relationship with a lot of people there as well. We get to give good input into our boots. We can help each other in developing the best possible boots."

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Football is a a busy place behind the scenes, it must be quite nice to be in a place where you can relax and be very much part of those proceedings?

"Yeah, it is and it's a place that is definitely growing. In terms of the football side, they're relatively new to that but it's nice to feel comfortable in sharing the same goals. We both want to try and improve ourselves constantly and help each other out on this journey."

What's it like when you bring a new pair of New Balance boots into the changing room? Do you get a lot of interested eyes on them from other players?

"Yeah there has been, a few of the players do ask me about them. Personally, I feel really good and really comfortable in them, so in that sense, as long as I'm happy, I don't really care what anybody else thinks."

While you've been with the brand, have there been any memories that particularly stand out?

"My goal against Galatasaray probably. I'd say that's up there as one of the best goals I've scored in my career and it was great to do that in a pair of New Balance boots."

You mentioned the Millennium Stadium as a great stadium. The Euros will mean you get to play in some you've never played at before. Where is the best place you've played from a personal perspective?

"I like the old stadiums. Places like Anfield and Dortmund, places with a real atmosphere and a history that you can feel, I like that sense that you get around grounds like that. Ninian Park was special. I used to go down there and I made my debut there. That was very special for me. Very old school, the fans were brilliant and the atmosphere was incredible. Proper old school. I had some really good memories there so to play there it was brilliant. I'm always thankful to have come through their system and had the opportunity to play for them."

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As a player and as a person, do you like to keep hold of trinkets and things like that from big occasions?

"Yeah I keep a few things like that. Shirts I've swapped with various players and shirts of mine from big games like the F.A. Cup Final as well. I don't go over the top in the sense that my house isn't covered in shirts but I do keep the ones from occasions that are personally quite special."

Medals aside at the Euros, what are you looking forward to most about getting out there?

"I've obviously never been to a finals before so I'm buzzing to get into that kind of set up and play with the group of people I will and against those teams we'll face. Also looking forward to the pressure it brings and just taking it all in. The chance to show what I can do personally and as a team on the biggest stage is something I'm really looking forward too."

You mentioned the Welsh fans already but what are they like to play against? Is it a different atmosphere to a club environment?

"They are brilliant and they helped through a lot of games over the last few years that I've been involved in, in the last campaign. They sing their hearts out every game and they're really proud to support their national team as well as the importance in being Welsh. I think that's something you'll most certainly see this year in France."

Aaron Ramsey wears the New Balance Visaro. You can pick up a pair here.