Monaco - Nice

Aaron Ramsey: "The club has been fantastic to me"

Aaron Ramsey has always been a starter for Didier Digard and brings his talent and experience to the midfield of OGC Nice, who are unbeaten in their last 7 matches (5 wins, 2 draws). Before his first derby in Monaco (this Sunday at 17:00), the Welshman answered a number of questions from journalists at the press conference.

How do you explain your progression since the beginning of the year?
There have been changes in 2023. We have a new coach, a new staff. We have different ideas on the pitch at the moment. The team is responding well to that. They are playing very good football at the moment. It's not just me, it's the whole team. At the beginning of the season, we were struggling to find momentum. Now we are in a good position. We can't wait to see how the end of the season goes.

You seem to be stronger physically. After the World Cup, it was complicated, but you came back with a completely new state of mind.
It's difficult to come back from the World Cup in the middle of the season. It's new for all the players who took part. Of course, after what happened, I had to start from scratch, refocus on the second half of the season. The club was fantastic with me. I was in constant contact, whether it was the sporting director (Florent Ghisolfi), Dave (Brailsford) or the physical trainer to stay in shape. I needed that time to get back to my best mental and physical shape to help my team. I think that was the case. Today, I am happy on a personal and team level. We had some very good results against some of the best teams in the league. We have to stay consistent. We have a test every week, and it starts on Sunday.

Are you ready for the game against Monaco, which is very important for the club and the fans?
I know how important this game is for the club and the fans. We're doing well at the moment, it's important to continue like this. We have to want more to get the three points. We will try to win this derby.

"We want to be a team that dominates the game."

What is the coach asking of you?
The coach is doing a very good job. The new staff is really exceptional. The players are responding very well to what is being put in place. We have a very good squad with talented players. We want to be a team that dominates the game more often than not. We have shown that recently against top teams. The immediate goal is to continue like this, to keep the momentum we have together. What is important is that we talk a lot and that we all push in the same direction. We'll see where we end up in this league.

Now that you are blossoming at OGC Nice, do you plan to continue the journey beyond this season?
First of all we have to concentrate on the next match, Monaco. We have to take game after game. That's how we've been doing it for the last few weeks, and it's worked for us. We've had good results. The idea is to continue to improve. There's still a lot to play for. We're going to try to finish as well as possible, to do the best possible job in the C4. Then we'll sit back and see.

"It will be difficult to stop Nice in the next few years."

Could the European run this season be decisive in your decision?
This club has ambition. It aspires to play at the highest level, whether it's in the league. They want to play in the Champions League. You can see it in what the directors say. They want the club to compete at the highest possible level. There is no limit. Everything is set up, it takes time to work, but you can clearly see the changes since the beginning of the season. It will be difficult to stop Nice in the next few years. Things are moving forward, we will see where the club can go.

What are your thoughts on your international career? Do you want to continue despite the disappointment of the World Cup?
Of course I do. I still feel good. I can contribute a lot. I can't wait to see what the future holds. We have some very good young players, who are playing at the highest level in the Premier League. They are very ambitious, they are aiming for success and want to qualify for the next Euro. The World Cup was a disappointment, but it is behind us. Now we have to look ahead. The qualifications for the next European Championship are coming up very quickly, and we will do everything we can to qualify.

In your career, you have come across many great defenders. There is a lot of talk at the moment about Jean-Clair Todibo as a potential future international. What is your opinion of him? Do you think he can become a defender for the French team in the future?
JC is a very interesting character. He has a lot of self confidence. He is a good guy in the dressing room and has a lot of talent. He can go to the top. He has to keep his feet on the ground, keep learning as much as he can alongside a very experienced player like Dante, who has played at the highest level for years. It's an invaluable experience. He's a great guy, a great player, very ambitious. There's no reason why he can't represent his country one day.

What about Khephren Thuram?
He is a talented player. He has a great future ahead of him. He is very dangerous, very powerful, very strong. He is very good on the ball. He has to continue like that. He is still a player who can go all the way to the top.


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