Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey recently visited Marlborough Science Academy in St Albans for the first Tie of the Round of the 2014/15 season. The Welshman, who has become one of the Premier League’s most prolific midfielders, took questions in front of a packed sports hall from a sea of excited students.
Here’s a selection of the questions and answers from the session with Aaron Ramsey:
Which player inspired you to follow a career in football?
Graham Kavanagh. He was captain at Cardiff at the time when I was coming through the academy there. He was the one I looked up to most and wanted to be and where I wanted to be in my career.
What does it take to become a professional footballer?
First of all you just have to enjoy yourself, find out what position you are and take advice from your managers. However, the main thing is just to enjoy it and express yourself.
If you were to give one piece of advice to an aspiring footballer what would it be?
Again, enjoy it and always have fun out on the pitch and also take advice from your managers – they’re there to help you improve and progress and hopefully help you become a professional footballer.
If you weren’t a footballer what would you do as a career?
Good question! As a kid I was always focused on becoming a professional footballer and I didn’t really have any thoughts for any other thing so I’m going to struggle to answer that question!
Who is the most difficult player you have ever played against?
The most difficult player I’ve played against is probably Scott Parker. I played against him a couple of seasons ago and it was one of the toughest games I’ve played in – he didn’t give you any time on the ball and he was just always around you.
There’s been a few. Cesc Fabregas was a top quality player, Gareth Bale as well – there’s been a few but if I had to say one, it would be one of those two.
What subjects did you enjoy at school?
Erm, PE! I enjoyed maths as well, I had a great relationship with my maths teacher. He was really supportive and it was a subject I enjoyed going to and I did alright in my GCSEs as well.
What was your best and most important goal?
The FA Cup goal – that was my most important goal in my career. With Arsenal not winning anything for a while it was important to win that FA Cup and thankfully we did.
Are you good at any other sports other than football?
I like to think I’m good at rugby. Coming from Wales that was something that was drilled into us, working to become a professional rugby player and that was the main sport to play so I was brought up like many of my classmates on rugby and I like to think I was half decent at that!
What fixture do you look forward to the most?
I look forward to the games against the top four teams and the Spurs game as well, that’s always a big one. There’s a number of games and they’re all difficult in the Premier League nowadays so there’s a lot to look forward to but if I had to pick one it would be games against the top 4.
We get up and go to training which we’re normally finished with by 1 or 2 o’clock and then go home and get your rest. Playing for Arsenal means we have three games in a week most weeks so you need to rest and recover, as before you know it there’s a Tuesday or Wednesday game. The games take a lot out of you so recovery is a huge part of being a professional footballer.
What has been your most memorable game for Arsenal and why?
Most memorable is the FA Cup final, to go and win it and to score the winner will be something that is always with me.
When you are not playing football what do you like to do to relax?
I like to try and play golf. My handicap is going down but it’s taking some time. When we can and at the right times, me and a few of the players like to go and have a game of golf.
Before a game, how do you prepare?
I’m pretty easy, I just go into a game chatting to my boss but there are a lot of other players that have rituals they go through, such as listening to the same music and they put their right boot on first or their right sock on, which is how they prepare.
Who is the funniest person in the dressing room?
It was Emmanuel Frimpong but now he’s left. He was very funny! Now it’s Lukas Podolski; he’s always happy and always messing around so he’s definitely the funniest in the dressing room right now.
You can see more photos from Aaron Ramsey’s visit to Marlborough School on our Facebook page.