Qualification for UEFA EURO 2020 was confirmed last November when Aaron Ramsey made his first start of the campaign and scored both goals in the decisive 2-0 win over Hungary.
A brace of goals from the Juventus midfielder sparked euphoric scenes amongst the Red Wall as Cardiff City Stadium celebrated the achievement of once again reaching the EURO finals, and were remarkably scored 11 years to the very day that a 17-year old Ramsey had made his senior Cymru debut away to Denmark in 2008.
A key player for Cymru over the course of the last decade, Ramsey also played a crucial role in the EURO 2016 qualifying campaign. Despite injury problems, Ramsey has made 60 international appearances for his country to date, scoring 16 goals in the process.
In the latest in a series of features for FAW.cymru, here's a look back at five memorable goals that Ramsey has scored in the colours of Cymru prior to his double against Hungary, starting with a special strike to open his account in the 2-0 win over Liechtenstein back in October 2009.
- Liechtenstein 0-2 Cymru
- Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz
- 14 October 2009
- 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
The first of Aaron Ramsey's 16 goals arrived on his 10th appearance as he scored the second goal in the 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein in Vaduz. David Vaughan had opened the scoring in the first half as he converted a cross from Gareth Bale, but it was Ramsey who would take the headlines with a superb free-kick.
On the 80th minute, a foul on Bale on the edge of the area presented Ramsey with his chance, and the midfielder made no mistake with a well-placed right-foot curling finish past Peter Jehle in the Liechtenstein goal to earn John Toshack's side maximum points and complete the double over the group minnows.
- Belgium 1-1 Cymru
- King Boudouin Stadium, Brussels
- 15 October 2013
- 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
Ramsey captained the side as manager Chris Coleman went into this potentially difficult match without a number of key players including Bale, Joe Allen, Joe Ledley and Ashley Williams, and scored a late equaliser to shock the home crowd with a superb finish from a difficult angle.
Craig Bellamy provided the assist for Ramsey on what would be his final international appearance, while the game is also remembered for Harry Wilson becoming the youngest-ever Cymru international at 16 years and 207 days when he replaced James Collins after 57 minutes.
- Israel 0-3 Cymru
- Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa
- 28 March 2015
- UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier
In what was one of the most complete performances of this qualifying campaign, Cymru took the lead through Ramsey just before half-time. Combining with Bale inside the Israel area, Ramsey put his side ahead with a powerful header.
But that would not be the end of his contribution, and after Bale had doubled the lead with a trademark free-kick not long after the restart, Ramsey turned provider to set Bale up for his second goal of the game on 77 minutes to complete the scoring.
- Cymru 3-0 Russia
- Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
- 20 June 2016
- UEFA EURO 2016
There was plenty at stake as Cymru went into the final group game of the tournament against Russia in Toulouse, but any nerves were calmed after 11 minutes when the peroxide-blonde Ramsey latched onto a perfect through ball from Joe Allen before calmly finishing in style past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Further goals from Neil Taylor and Bale completed the scoring on an amazing evening for Coleman's side, finishing group winners and progressing to the last 16. But there was a lot more to come from the competition as Cymru were knocked-out by eventual winners Portugal at the semi-final stage, with Ramsey missing the match through suspension.
- Serbia 1-1 Cymru
- Red Star Stadium, Belgrade
- 11 June 2017
- 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier
This was a goal for the football hipsters and historians to enjoy. In the final of EURO 1976, Czechoslovakia met West Germany at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade. The match went to penalties after a 2-2 draw, and it was Antonin Panenka who made history with his decisive spot-kick for Czechoslovakia to claim the trophy.
The technique of his audacious subtle chip from the spot still carries his name, and when Ramsey found himself lining-up a penalty for Cymru at the same end of the same stadium more than 40 years later, there was only one outcome. Although his effort drifted to the right of the goal, the technique mirrored that of the Czech football hero to put his side ahead.