Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi have had some heated El Clasico battles in the past, but the Real Madrid star has now made an admission about his the Argentine.
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Los Blancos welcome FC Barcelona to the Camp Nou on Sunday night in a top-of-the-table affair, with the hosts desperate for three points.
The Real skipper has come up against Messi for the last decade and there have been a few heated moments involving the pair, but he has now revealed his admiration for his rival.
"I have huge respect for him," Ramos told La Liga.
"I think he’s one of the greatest players in history and I have huge respect for him. I hope Sunday isn’t his day, that would mean we’ve done our job, and if on top of that we can get a good result even better.
"I wish him all the best as a fellow professional but only as long as it doesn’t affect us negatively! It’s hard, but he has my maximum respect, I think he’s one of the best."
Ramos, who holds the record for most red cards in El Clasico, was sent off in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League.
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