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Ramsey urges Bellamy to stay on

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey says that he wants Craig Bellamy to reconsider his decision to retire from international football as the Liverpool man gets set to skipper the side in Wednesday's Gary Speed Memorial Match.

• Bellamy set for final appearance

Bellamy will replace the injured Ramsey as captain for the friendly with Costa Rica in Cardiff, which will honour the memory of his former Wales and Newcastle team-mate Speed, who committed suicide in November 2011.

Speed's death affected Bellamy deeply and so much so that he revealed this could be his last match for his country. Ramsey, though, would like the striker to stay on until the end of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

"Craig has been a massive part of our success," said Ramsey. "He has proven he still has the ability to cause a threat and he has huge experience. We hope he stays because he still has a lot to offer and he could be a major part in the future success of Wales."

Bellamy, 32, is fifth in Wales' all-time top goal-scorer list with 19 and new manager Chris Coleman has already spoken to him about extending his international career.

"When he's ready, he'll come out and say what he wants to do," said Coleman. "I have to try and put myself in Craig's shoes. He has known Gary a long time and was very close to him and his family.

"He came out of retirement for Gary. And Gary is not here now. It's not an easy one for him. I won't take it to heart if he comes out and says that he won't do it. I will understand. I hope that's not the situation.

"I've known Bellers a long time. I'm not saying our relationship is the same as it was with Gary's. But he knows me and the way I work. It doesn't have to be a love affair to work. Not that I dislike Craig because I like him. I have a lot of respect for him. I hope he stays with us because we need a Craig Bellamy, like most teams do on and off the park.

"You know what his mentality is like, he's a winner, he wants things done right. Personally I want Craig to stay and I hope he does. I will do my best to keep him because we're a better team and a better squad with him about. I think the talks have been positive but it is not for me to say, it is up to Craig when he says yes or no.

"But Craig knows how important he is to the group. I won't push him but I imagine his mind is already made up and when he is ready he'll come out and say it."

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