No excuses – Sergio Ramos knows Real Madrid CF were outplayed by Borussia Dortmund last week. However, the Spanish international refuses to throw in the towel just yet.
Madrid suffered a 4-1 defeat in the opening instalment of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against Dortmund in Germany and now look an unlikely bet to reach their first final since lifting the trophy 11 years ago. Defender Ramos has been at the Santiago Bernabéu for the majority of that time and is desperate to end his own personal wait for Europe's biggest club prize.
"There is no bigger motivation than playing in a UEFA Champions League final," said Ramos, a FIFA World Cup and two-time UEFA European Championship winner with Spain. "I've been here for eight years and never played in one. There is nothing better – we have to believe we can get back into it."
As admirable as Ramos's optimism is, the odds are undoubtedly stacked against Madrid avoiding a third successive exit at this stage of the competition. Jürgen Klopp's side, who passed a particularly testing group stage draw with flying colours, have continued to impress in the knockout phase and remain unbeaten in Europe this term.
"We want revenge," added Ramos, who operated at right-back at the BVB Stadion. "We have negative memories from the first leg and we want to play. We know our fans will support us from the first minute but that won't be of any use if we are not focused on the game. We know what we have to do and what happened in Dortmund. We know how good a team Borussia Dortmund are.
"Qualifying will be much harder if they score. It is complicated for us but if we want to be in the final we have to beat the best teams. The result in Dortmund was fair – there is nothing left to say when you lose as we did last week. We just have to do our best," the 27-year-old concluded.
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