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Ethan Ampadu takes leadership tips from John Terry and Didier Drogba in pursuit of Euro 2024 dream

ETHAN AMPADU is taking inspiration from Chelsea legends John Terry and Didier Drogba as he chases a ticket to the Euro 2024 finals spot with Wales.

The Leeds captain is set to win his 50th cap at just the age of 23 in Thursday’s play-off semi-final against Finland in Cardiff.

John Terry was back at Cobham as he trained alongside Ethan Ampadu and Karen Carney

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John Terry was back at Cobham as he trained alongside Ethan Ampadu and Karen CarneyCredit: Instagram @johnterry.26
Ampadu has already played at a Euros and World Cup but wants a third tournament experience in Germany

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Ampadu has already played at a Euros and World Cup but wants a third tournament experience in GermanyCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

Aaron Ramsey is Wales’ leader but boss Robert Page hailed Ampadu last week as a “future skipper”.

Ampadu reverts back to a support act with his country rather than captain at club level and says his childhood Blues heroes of Terry and Drogba are driving him to lead by example on the pitch.

Ampadu said: “Growing up as a Chelsea fan, I would look up to John Terry and Didier Drogba,

“I was fortunate I was able to watch those two.

“Didier wasn’t a captain like John was. It was the way he led the team through his performance rather than wearing the armband. 

“Being a leader comes naturally to me. Because of the position I play, either as a midfielder or defender, you’re in the middle of the pitch. You try and help the team whichever way you can.”

Ampadu, who left Stamford Bridge for Elland Road in a £7m deal last summer, is ready to reach his international half-century at the same age as England duo Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen.

He was introduced to the Wales squad as a 15-year-old by Chris Coleman before Euro 2016.

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Ampadu then made his senior debut against France in November 2017.

The versatile ace plays centre-back for Leeds but central midfield for Wales.

But he would swap his personal night of celebration where he becomes the youngest Welsh player to reach 50 caps ahead of Chris Gunter for a third successive Euros final place for the Dragons.

Ampadu added: “It’s nice to reach the milestone. It’s a massive achievement.

“I’m still young, but I’ve experienced a lot which I’m very grateful for.

“I’m hoping that even if people say I’ve been around forever that I’ve still got a long way to go in the game and I can achieve a lot more.

“But if it meant I didn’t reach 50 caps and we got to the Euros, I would probably enjoy that more. It’s massive for us.”

Ampadu has led Leeds to the top of the Championship above Leicester following Sunday’s 2-0 win over Millwall.

But he suffered three successive relegations during loan spells at Sheffield United, Venezia and Spezia – prompting cries he was cursed.
Ampadu laughed at the online headlines: “I had that a lot!

But what has he learnt from the low times to help Daniel Farke’s high-flying side in their promotion quest?

He added: “I still have the same dedication and application in preparing for games.

“I’ve taken the feeling of three relegations and how much that hurt me. I was disappointed.

“I have used that as a motivation to not have that feeling again.
“It’s a lot nicer and more enjoyable when you’re winning.

“It’s a different pressure but the mood is better and more positive when you are trying to win something.”

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