Ahead of UEFA Champions League opener against AS Roma, The Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos addresses the burning issues regarding the club.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos addressed the media before his side hosts AS Roma in the first round of UEFA Champions League at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. The Spanish defender talked about the club’s ambitions and also referred to their successful history in Europe’s most prestigious competition.
Real Madrid have won the last three editions of the annual competition which makes them the reigning and defending champions of Europe for 843 consecutive days. Ramos believes that this particular feat hasn’t been achieved by luck or chance.
“The Mister (Julen Lopetegui) has said, it is a pride and a responsibility which is what he has shown for three years. Those Champions are not chance, you have to keep the ambition and the illusion to remain the best in Europe “
Recently, the French forward Antoine Griezmann said that he believes he is at the same level as of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In an attempt to indicate that he is expecting to be rewarded with France Football’s Ballon d’Or, Antoine Griezmann attracted a lot of negative remarks due to his statement. Sergio Ramos also spoke on the issue saying that the Atletico Madrid youngster has a lot to learn even though he is a standout player.
“Good question. Ignorance is very daring. When I listen to this kid talk I remember players like Totti, Raul, Buffon, Casillas, Maldini, Xavi or Iniesta who have won everything and do not have a Golden Ball. Each one is free, but should be advised by Simeone, Godin or Koke who gather values that could come in handy. Still, I think he’s a great player.”
This year’s UEFA Champions League final is scheduled to be played in Wanda Metropolitano. It is the home stadium of Atletico Madrid who are the arch-rivals of Real Madrid. The rivalry has flared more in the recent years after Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid in 2 of the UEFA Champions League finals in last 5 years. While Atletico Madrid recently defeated Real Madrid in UEFA Super Cup. Thus, Sergio Ramos believes that it is an extra bit of motivation to reach the final and win the trophy in their rival’s home stadium.
“Regardless of where it is, Madrid is obliged to defend the title, it is an extra motivation for being in the field of our direct rival.”
Other bitter rivals of Real Madrid are FC Barcelona, whose captain Lionel Messi earlier claimed to have prioritized UEFA Champions League as their main objective for the season. Sergio Ramos claims that it is normal for their rivals to be willing to end their domination.
“Barcelona is always a direct rival, favorite. It is normal for the greats of his team to emphasize wanting to win this competition.”
Real Madrid have had a poor track record in Copa del Rey, which is the domestic competition of Spain. Sergio Ramos says that even though all competitions are important, he’d still pick Champions League ahead of Copa del Rey.
“I prefer a Champions although all competitions are important, it is not easy to win Champions and you have to give more value. It is not normal to win so many Champions and so few years. I assure you that Isco and the rest prefer a Champions to three Copas del Rey “.
There has been a lot of confusion amongst fans when the club announced that the latest recruitment, Vinicius Jr has been registered as a youth player in Castilla rather than in the first team. Vinicius Jr 19-year-old Brazilian player who will play a limited number of matches for the first team and the youth team while training with alongside both the sides throughout the season. The captain advised saying he needs time to develop and get familiar with the club and its ideology.
“I came from Sevilla to play in the first half and had that experience. Vinicius has a great future but he himself will set his standards. He needs a period of training, he has great talent but you do not have to put pressure on him, he has to enjoy football and go on burning stages.”
Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been in debate for being inconsistent and affecting the flow of the game. Sergio Ramos says that it is a plus point for the game and needs time to be incorporated well.
“I am a defender of everything that makes football fairer, there is room for error, we must have patience but the VAR is there to help and we have to focus on it as something positive, I do not think they are wrong, let’s wait to that the machine is lubricated when before.”
Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid players often have been questioned about the life after their greatest goalscorer. Sergio Ramos believes the Portuguese marked his era and now it’s time for the club to move forward.
“He has marked an era in Madrid, has broken all records, but it is already past. We can not live from what he did in the past. Its void is very big but it has been covered by other players with a lot of ambition and we have a great squad to compete. We always have a lot of love for the top players but when they are not there we have to continue. We wish you the best, as long as you do not cross with us.”
The manager of AS Roma, Di Francesco claimed that Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo is better. To which the 32-year-old replied by saying that Real Madrid will have to adapt to a new style of play.
“I respect the opinion of the whole world. Cris gave you a lot and took away little. He was very upright, he had a lot of goals, we played more against him. Now we have to adapt to another style, we have more possession and another way to hurt the rivals. ”
Ramos didn’t say who’s the favorite to win the competition this year but claimed that his side will have to work for whole season consistently.
“We have to go step by step, start on the right foot to have a compensation at the end. “
The Spanish international Marco Asensio has been in the limelight ever since he debuted with Real Madrid. The youngster has been looked upon as the promising future for his club and country. The 22-year-old is already the blue-eyed boy of his captain.
“I have a special affection for him (Asensio), he reminds me of his age. I had the affection of others and now I give it to myself. It is time to put some stone in the backpack but not too much. It begins to have an important role within the team and is the beginning to mark an era. I hope he continues on that line.”
After the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema moved up in the seniority list of Real Madrid’s captaincy. They are preceded by Sergio Ramos and Marcelo Vierro who are the current captain and vice-captain respectively. Ramos believes both of them on merit deserves to be the 3rd and the 4th captains of the club.
“They are two players who have been around for many years, they have won everything. Varane is also World Champion. Karim is one of the captains and has a position, he gets more involved, before he went more to his own devices. Veterans are important for young people. “
Real Madrid will face AS Roma tomorrow in the first match of UEFA Champions League group stage at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. The kick off is scheduled for 21:00 CET as the fixture will be telecasted all over the world via the official broadcasting partners of UEFA.