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FORZA RAMSEY; Italians' dirty tricks didn't stop me beating them... Aaron has class and will do same.

Byline: IAN RUSH EXCLUSIVE by John Richardson



IAN RUSH backs Wales star Aaron Ramsey to follow in his footsteps and score the winning goal against Italy in Rome today.

Liverpool legend Rush, who will be at the game as a guest of UEFA, struck the vital goal in a 1-0 victory against the Azzurri 33 years ago in Brescia - his country's only success on Italian soil.

And like Rush, Ramsey - the inspiration in the outstanding midweek win against Turkey which virtually clinched a place in the knockout stages - begins the clash in the Olympic Stadium as a Juventus player.

Rush hopes he will not be subjected to the same dirty tricks campaign as he was forced to endure in 1988.

whirl. "Before the game Francesco Morini, a former Juventus player who was the club's director of football, came on the pitch trying to put me off," said Rush. "He was doing everything he could think of to try and wind me up.

"He was telling me I had to go back to Turin after the game, even though the season had finished. It was just one of many ploys to try and put my mind into a whirl.

"It just made me more determined to do well.

"I was the only Juventus player on the pitch and I wanted to

BONJOURNO: treated prove that I deserved to be at the club.

"Mark Hughes played up front with me and he got so much stick from the Italian defenders, but he also rose to the occasion and was absolutely superb.

"It's always nice to get the winning goal against the country you are playing in.

"It was really special and gave me the confidence to show any doubting Italians that I could do well against some of the most ruthless defenders in world football.

"It's probably a similar scenario facing Aaron Ramsey.

"Hopefully he can prove himself in front of a watching Italian audience after doubts over his future at Juventus.

"It wouldn't be bad if he got the winning goal as well.

"This is the chance to put one over the country where he earns a living."

Following a brilliantly taken goal against the Turks, the former Arsenal midfielder, 30, who has had an indifferent two seasons in Turin, is flying - alongside Gareth Bale and Dan James.

Damage Rush added: "If you're the Wales manager you know that these three are always playing in the big games, that they interact with one another.

"So you say to the rest of the side to keep a clean sheet and the trio will cause damage at the other end of the pitch.

"The Wales front three can live with any forward line at the European Championship.

"You've got Bale and Ramsey, who are world class, and Daniel James, who is grease lightning and is still learning.

"You tell the trio to do what they want because with them in the line-up you know you are going to score goals - as we saw against Turkey.

"It won't be as easy against Italy because they won't be afforded the same space and time. But is Rome given licence to go forward they can always create mayhem in opposition defences."

Wales, in the knowledge that they already have one foot in the knockout stage, may switch things around against Italy.

"For Wales it's whether some players can manage three games in succession," Rush added.

"It's important for (manager) Rob Page to get the balance right because what they have right now is real momentum, but at the same time you don't want to burn players out.

"Italy were my tip to win the Euros before a ball was kicked. They have a good combination of youthful players and experience.

"They are typical of most Italian teams - they are not going to let in many goals - but this side also has goals in them.

"You wonder whether Italy will rest one or two players because they are already through to the next stage or will they want to go for it looking to finish top of the group?"

PWDLF APts Italy 220060 6 Wales 211031 4 Switzerland201114 1 Turkey 200205 0


BONJOURNO: New Juve signing Rush is treated to a traditional breakfast in Rome
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN RUSH EXCLUSIVE by John Richardson
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 20, 2021
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