Sergio Ramos: I would have liked not to have this confrontation

Madrid, Dec 13 (EFE).- Spanish soccer star Sergio Ramos said Monday that he would have liked the Champions League not to have paired up his current team, Paris Saint-Germain, with Real Madrid, where he played for 16 seasons and was the team captain.

“I learned of it at home. I was OK with United as a rival, but the draw wasn’t good. (But) it’s been done and that’s how it is. We got Madrid. It’s a mix of feelings. I would have liked to not have that confrontation, but returning home is something very nice on the sentimental level. Here, I’ve lived the best years of my life,” Ramos said at the inauguration of his gymnasium, located in Madrid’s Moncloa university district.

“Returning home to a farewell I didn’t have because of Covid-19 is very special. I would have liked it to be in another way, but I’m coming to defend my team to the death,” he said.

“Fate is very fickle. I would have liked us to get another team. You know the love I have for Madrid and for the team, and that’s never going to change. You have to deal with the present. I play on PSG and it’s my job to defend my team and I will do everything I can to try and get through the elimination round. They’re very tough rivals (and) Madrid is going through a great period. We’ll see what happens because there’s still time before the game,” he said.

The other issue that cropped up at the press conference was Ramos’s physical condition, given that he’s only been able to play for 90 minutes this season.

“I’m happy after several tough months due to the injury and not being able to be with the team and with such a big change in a new club and a new city. I’m very calm and completely adapted to the city. In the end, I’m feeling good after playing the first game,” he said.

“It gives a little normality to returning to work. Recovering well from that game because after so many months your body is a bit unaccustomed. I’m happy to be feeling good once again and following a plan established by the technical group and the trainers. I’m happy to return home,” he said.

Ramos discussed how the months away from the pitch had been: “It’s been tough. And different from what I experienced during my career. I was lucky to play for many years. Injuries had (stayed away from) me during my career and now they’ve hit me, he said.

“The things that hurt us most are those that affect us most. It teaches you that life has these type of moments, but they’re learning experiences and we have to get through them. It’s a negative part of my life but it shows you who you really are. When I got back to playing I didn’t want the game to end because I was getting back to feeling like myself and performing at the max. I’m proud and in life, when you devote yourself body and soul to something the results will come. Ramos will still be around for a while,” he added.

The former Real Madrid captain sidestepped the question about whether people with the club have supported him during this time, saying “That’s something very personal. At times, it’s good to step into the background after so many good times. I haven’t had any surprises because I’ve always had a very close and faithful circle of friends. The rest is something that doesn’t depend on me, but yes I can choose the team I want to have around me and it’s been strengthened, in terms of friendship and in terms of being a team. Bad things have happened, but it was worth it,” Ramos said.

Regarding Real Madrid, the player commented that “I can always see the Madrid matches with special love, and those of the Spanish Liga in general. Vinicius was already promising these past few years, but now he’s a reality and a great player where Madrid is beginning to have its games depend on him. He’s going to be a key element in the coming years for Madrid and I’m happy that he’s performing on that level. Having that kind of thing in the Liga is a good sign, they’re at a good spot and on defense they look very solid to me.”

Ramos also said that, given the rumors that continue circulating about Kylian Mbappe going to Real Madrid, he would like him to stay with him on PSG.

“I wouldn’t like (to see him with Madrid). I like to be surrounded by the best players and Mbappe is a key element in today’s PSG and on the team in the future. One never knows what might happen, but I want Kylian on my team,” he emphasized.

Regarding his latest project, the “Sergio Ramos by John Reed” gymnasium, which will open its doors on Jan. 18, he commented that the design reflected many things in his life.

“This very special space makes you feel happy to train and that occurs thanks to the fact that it’s a different and nice environment. It has a different design that gets your attention and makes you feel very comfortable. I’ve been involved down to the smallest detail. My passions are reflected in every corner. Everything has a very wonderful, warm and special significance for me,” he said.

EFE omb/ism/bp

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