Joseph Christopher Ledley (born 23 January 1987) is a Welsh professional footballer who last played for Derby County as a central midfielder. He has also played for the Wales national team.
He started his career with then Championship side Cardiff City where he spent six years. He helped the club to the FA Cup final in 2008 and to the Championship play-off final in 2010. In 2010, he moved to Celtic on a free transfer. He won the Scottish Premier League title in his second season with the club in 2012 and both the league and the Scottish Cup in 2013. He signed for Crystal Palace in January 2014 and played three and a half Premier League seasons for them.
Ledley has played for Wales at under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, before making his full debut in 2005. He has since gone on to make over 70 international appearances and has captained his country on several occasions. Ledley was in the Welsh squad that reached the semi-final of UEFA Euro 2016.
Ledley has been described as having a terrific engine. This is because of his high fitness level and work rate. He works equally hard in defence as attack and always looks to win the ball off the opposition, while he is also able to contribute goals to his team going forward. He is comfortable on the ball and is a decent passer. He is also a very physical player. Ledley has been criticised for not being a very quick player, some critics have suggested that several Premier League clubs who were interested in him may have been put off by his lack of pace. However, John Hartson has said that pace is not necessarily the most important thing, especially when Ledley is good in so many other aspects of the game. He has also said that he thinks Ledley would be able to play in the Premier League and compared his style of play to that of players like Xabi Alonso and Frank Lampard.
At the start of Ledley's career he was generally played as a left winger. However, since the 2008–09 season, he has been used more in the centre.
Ledley and his wife Ruby have two daughters, named Layla and Reeva, born in October 2010. In March 2011, Ledley's house was broken into while he was in Hamilton and his wife and daughter were in Cardiff. After this they decided to move because they couldn't raise their child in a house that had been broken into. In September 2011, he was reportedly attacked while out in Glasgow City Centre. It was claimed by witnesses that a man headbutted him, then kicked him in the face after he fell to the ground before police stepped in. However, Strathclyde Police said that they had no record of the incident. Ledley was a Liverpool supporter as a youngster and Ryan Giggs was his hero.
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