Spain international and Real Madrid defender, Sergio Ramos, gave FIFA.com a wide-ranging interview and spoke about his imminent challenges with club and country, the difficulty to defend the World Cup and Real’s desire to win the Champions League.
Here the most important statements out of the interview.
Ramos on the year ahead:
I have to give my all to perform at my very best for my country and for Real Madrid, where we’re very much in the running on three fronts (Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League).
We’re duty-bound to fight for those three titles.
Ramos on defending the FIFA World Cup:
Achieving it (World Cup triumph) was a difficult task, and so defending it will also be very complicated.
There are many teams at a very high level and all of them are out to take the title from us.
Ramos on facing the Netherlands in the group stages:
Over the years we’ve faced many different sides, but with the Dutch, it’s a bit different because of that Final, which was our first and also our first world title.
On paper they’re one of the favourites and can count on players of immense quality.
You need to have the utmost respect for all the teams there, as to be world champions you have to beat the best sides.
Ramos on losing to Brazil in the Confed Cup:
We need to learn from that defeat.
Perhaps we didn’t go into match in the best possible manner – physically we might not have been at our peak, while they were on top form, playing very good football.They were better than us and deserving of their win.
We need to be ready in case we have to face Brazil again, then somehow try to hit them on the break and punish them, something we weren't able to do last year.
Ramos on his role as a forward-going defender:
Defensive stability is also one of the keys to a team’s success.Sometimes it can feel like you’re missing something when you’re just sitting tight at the back, especially for us players who like to get involved, form part of the attack and get in on goal. Sometimes you just have to limit [your forays], but when your team wins, you feel very satisfied for the work you’ve done to help.
Ramos on new Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti:
Ancelotti is someone widely revered for his CV, for everything he’s won and his knowledge of the game. He was also a pro so can put himself in a player’s shoes.
In that respect, he creates a lot of chemistry and has a very good relationship with the squad. I think we can learn a great deal from him this season and have a successful year.
Ramos on Real’s desire to win the Champions League:
I’m not sure it’s an obsession but the desire to win it is greater than for any other competition.
We need to just take it step by step, like we’ve done in recent years – reaching the semi-final and almost making the final.
It’s tricky, but Real Madrid are obliged to fight till the death for that trophy.
By David Kappel