There were some moving scenes in the English camp on Monday as the Three Lions advanced to the 2022 World Cup, especially for Aaron Ramsdale after the Arsenal keeper made his international debut to crown (pun intended shamefully wanted) which was a great start to the season for him.
Ramsdale replaced Jordan Pickford and played the entire game as Gareth Southgate’s side made San Marino minced meat in their last qualifying game, and kept one of the simplest clean sheets in his career as England hit double digits, winning 10-0 at Serravalle to officially seal their place in Qatar next year (stream the replay on ESPN + in the US).
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It marked a triumphant night for Arsenal’s young set, with Bukayo Saka scoring the 10th goal of the night (and his fourth for his country) and Emile Smith Rowe scoring his very first start to England.
– England (@England) November 12, 2021
As a rookie, Ramsdale officially received his very first cap on the pitch after the game, when the 23-year-old was visibly flustered for the first time that night.
« Crazy, innit, » he said holding the embroidered red cap traditionally given to all English players by the Football Association. » Ultimately! «
You can just tell how much it meant.
– England (@England) November 15, 2021
Ramsdale became the 1,265th player to be selected by England as his family watched him proudly from the stands.
“It’s special,” he added. « It’s been a long time since this happened. I have dreamed of this day for a long time. «
The 23-year-old then thanked the England defense for the shutout and even joked that his friends wanted him to be on the scoresheet against the lowest-ranked team in Europe.
« I have to thank the boys [for the clean sheet] « , he said. They played well in front of me. My boys [back home] texted me… they said « a chance to score? «
“My family was there too. I think I saw tears when the national anthem was on. ‘1265’… It’s a special issue now. «
Ramsdale was selected for the England squad for Euro 2020 while still at Sheffield United last season, but did not make the tournament. He has since moved to Arsenal and continued to receive regular calls under Southgate, although it took him several months to finally make his international arc.
“I’ve been coming for a long time. I have dreamed of this day for a long time, ”he said.
Ramsdale has already become a popular figure since his big move to the Emirates this summer, quickly establishing himself as coach Mikel Arteta’s first choice between the sticks. The young keeper has made 11 appearances in all competitions so far this season, keeping seven clean sheets and winning the Gunners’ Player of the Month award for October.
In addition to covering the basics, Ramsdale delighted fans with a series of outstanding reflex saves, including a breathtaking effort at your fingertips to thwart James Maddison in last month’s 2-0 Leicester City win, which the former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said: “Best stop I’ve seen in years. «
Player of the month entered the chat 😍👏
– Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 10, 2021
And it’s not just Ramsdale’s footballing performances that have earned him great popularity. During the Leicester game he joined in chants from home fans designed to deter him as he shot goals, and after the game he addressed the traveling fans. give not only his jersey but also his boots.
Aaron Ramsdale handing out his shirt and boots to Arsenal fans away after the game.
– afcstuff (@afcstuff) October 30, 2021
It’s also something he gets used to. After the 1-0 win at Burnley in September, he made another young fan day handing them his shirt, and their response was invaluable.
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale hands his jersey to a young away fan after the win at Burnley yesterday. [@Arsenal]
– afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 19, 2021
“The kids keep coming up with more and more signs and signs and it’s hard to say no to them so the boots and the shirt are gone,” he told BT Sport.
It’s amazing to think that three years ago Ramsdale played for Chesterfield in League Two and just two years ago he played at AFC Wimbledon in League One.
The word that tends to be used to describe this kind of elevation is ‘meteoric’ and given that Ramsdale’s Star has never been so high, it certainly seems more than appropriate to revive it here.