New Wales captain Aaron Ramsey believes he proved his mental strength during his long battle for fitness after serious injury.
Ramsey has only returned to the Arsenal side in the past fortnight after having his leg badly broken in a tackle by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross 13 months ago. The Gunners youngster spent nine months on the sidelines before joining Nottingham Forest and then Cardiff on loan to build up his match-fitness.
Ramsey said: "I have been through a lot in the past year. I have had to be strong mentally to get through it."
He added: "I couldn't have done that without the support of my friends and family and all the messages that I got from the fans around the world.
"I have definitely been through a lot but I think I have benefited from that and I have grown up throughout that period."
Ramsey feels he has a good example to follow in his Arsenal team-mate and World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas, who was handed the Gunners armband at the age of 21 by Arsene Wenger.
"He has captained his club at such a young age and done such a lot in the game at such a young age," Ramsey said.
"He has become one of the best midfielders in the world. Training with him every day is just going to help you and you can take bits you think he does well and try to add them to your game.
"I think he is still the same person on and off the field and he leads by the way he plays as well."