Spanish NT captain Sergio Ramos admits the disturbance in the dressing room after the shocking decision to sack Julen Lopetegui.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The Spanish NT captain, Sergio Ramos addressed the media ahead of his opening match in the FIFA World Cup 2018 against the reigning Euro champions, Portugal.
The 32-year-old admitted to the disruptive atmosphere inside the dressing room after the coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked. Ramos believes it was an incorrect decision by the RFEF president, Rubiales.
“It feels like we’re in a funeral parlour when the World Cup is starting.”
Julen Lopetegui was sacked for a shocking reason that he signed for Real Madrid and announced it before the World Cup commenced. There have been other cases in recent years when coaches signed for a club before the international tournament and no such consequences were ever seen. Two of the notable examples are of Antonio Conte and Luis Van Gaal. Conte was the coach of Italy NT and he signed a three-year deal with Chelsea just before the UEFA Euro France 2016 campaign. Van Gaal was the coach of Holland NT when he signed a three-year deal with Manchester United before the commencement of FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.
Ramos further continued and claimed he wishes to end the tournament on a positive note, unlike the way it has commenced for the Spanish defender.
“I want to finish with a smile. We have to turn the page because this hasn’t been pleasant.
After the sacking of Lopetegui just 27 hours before the World Cup began, another Real Madrid legend Fernando Hierro was appointed as the interim coach for the Spanish side for the duration of World Cup. Hierro was earlier the sporting director for the national side.
Sergio Ramos said that the team needs to look forward and try to move on as quickly as possible. The captain also gave his vote of confidence to Fernando Hierro.
“Julen [Lopetegui] has been part of what’s been done, but Spain is above everything. We need to turn the page and there’s nobody better for filling the void than [Fernando] Hierro. I hope we can have a national team like we had before. We don’t need to evaluate what other people do and we need to focus on the sporting side of things.”
Sergio Ramos further said that it’s not the management who will play for the nation but the players themselves. Moreover, he claimed that this is not the time to discuss about the decisions which have already been made.
“Only we can do something on the pitch. We need to close this subject. When the World Cup finishes, everyone can say what they want.”
Ramos was made the captain of the national side after the iconic goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The defender is proud of his role in the team and has ambitions to win yet another World Cup.
“Wearing the armband of the national team is the best thing that can happen to you, Everything that has happened will make us more united. Nothing will change us.The will of a country won’t come above one name.”
The captain further clarified that there is no disagreement of rift inside the dressing room and team is ready to play on the field despite the absurd chain of events in the past couple of days.
“There is no rift in the dressing room. The plan hasn’t changed, with the plan being to go and win the World Cup. Personally, it was a delicate moment. Being here is very difficult and we’ll be more united than ever.”
Sergio Ramos will be defending against his club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo with whom the Real Madrid captain has lifted several trophies and the last one being the 3rd consecutive UEFA Champions League title in Kiev. Ramos said that it would be better if the Portuguese was on his side.
“I prefer to have him with me and not against me, He is really great and a constant threat.”
The match will kick off at 20:00 CET on 15th June 2018 (tonight). It is the opening match for both the sides with Spain coming out as favorites. Though any team with Cristiano Ronaldo in it shall never be considered as an underdog.