Gareth Bale will be carrying Welsh hopes in Euro 2016 but if the Real Madrid star wants to continue the fairytale of his country the help of Aaron Ramsey seems essential. The Arsenal midfielder has reached a turning point of his career and the French tournament looks the best possible platform for him to prove the promise he showed as a teenager.
The Wales midfielder was considered as the next big thing to emerge from Ryan Giggs' homeland when he was only a 17-year-old kid. Sir Alex Ferguson tried to lure him to Manchester United to replicate the story of his compatriot legend but Arsene Wenger beat him and also Everton for his signature by paying Cardiff £5m ($7.3m) to secure his services in the summer of 2008.
Ramsey's start to the life at North London was a promising one which saw him becoming the fifth-youngest scorer in Champions League history. The Welshman looked ready to lead a new Invincibles generation at the Emirates Stadium along the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere.
Yet neither Arsenal or Ramsey have since managed to match those expectations. The 25-year-old, like his team, have since showed glimpses of talent but his career has been a roller-coaster marked by that injury suffered in 2010 which even threatened his career.
Ramsey then had to go back to the drawing board and his two first adventures on loan at Nottingham Forest at Cardiff were not near what he had expected before the injury.
The return to Arsenal was not better. The struggles continued and even Wenger and the Gunners fans began to concede that he never was going to be the player who once promised to be during his early days at Cardiff.
His long-term future at the club came even under scrutiny after the Welshman ended the 2012-2013 campaign with two goals and six assists in 47 appearances.
Wenger instead gave Ramsey another chance and the midfielder took it with both hands to become the club's Player of the Season in the 2013-2014 campaign. Despite the Welshman missed a number of games due to his ongoing hamstring problems he set-up 10 goals and scored further 16 in 34 appearances, including the winner in the FA Cup final against Hull City to help the Gunners come from 2-0 down and end a nine-year wait for a trophy.
That goal and that impressive season finally seemed to set the beginning of a special story both for Ramsey and Arsenal. The star of Wales was still a 23-year-old and had a long career ahead to develop into the major star he once promised he could be.
However, once again, that promise seem to have vanished. The Welshman has given a step back in his last two seasons and his career looks stalled. He netted 10 goals in 2014-2015 and had just scored five in his 40 appearances for the Gunners during the current campaign.
His career is at a turning point where is difficult even to guess what is his real position in the pitch. He demands to play through the middle but his poor stats forced Wenger to use him on the flank. At 25 it is not yet known with certainly if he is a box to box, a number 10 or just another creative midfielder.
January signings Mohamed Elneny and the return to action of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere could put Ramsey even under more scrutiny at the Emirates Stadium ahead of a busy summer transfer window in Wenger's office.
Ramsey has the chance to prove to the doubters wrong as he had done in the past by bouncing back and showing why he once was linked with a big money move to the likes of Barcelona.
The Euro Championship and France seem the perfect tournament and place for him to show that his level can be closer to Bale's or Giggs' than the rest of his Wales team-mates. The Real Madrid star Bale would surely welcome that. His goals were enough to qualify his country for a major tournament for the first time after 58-year wait but Wales also need the help of Ramsey should they want to go through the group stage against England, Russia and Slovakia.