Ramos on Zidane, Ronaldo and never giving up
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos discusses Zinédine Zidane, the luxury of playing with Cristiano Ronaldo and the advice of his grandfather and father that fuels him.
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On the rocky road to Milan ...
We deserve to be in the final. It's been a bit of a bumpy ride, though. After getting through the group stage – when we were up against big teams like PSG – we had a poor game in the quarter-final first leg away to Wolfsburg, but were thrilled to pull off a great comeback at home.
After that we managed to knock out a top side in Manchester City in the semis. We are happy that our hard work, despite the ups and downs, has got its reward. We'll be playing in the final in Milan against another great opponent, Atlético Madrid. It's very gratifying.
On familiar opponents ...
We know Atlético very well. They also deserve their place in the final. They've knocked out some top teams and we know they're in very good form. They have a great team and, above all, they know how to compete.
We expect a hard match, with real intensity. We'll have to be totally focused as finals are mostly decided on small details: the team that makes the fewest mistakes comes out on top.
We have to show the humility, hard work and effort that has got us this far. We need to be able to dig in, play more like a team than ever and defend well. If we do that, it will be a big step in the right direction.
On that last-gasp equaliser in the 2014 final ...
My grandfather and father always told me that even if there's only one second left, there's still hope. You've got to have that attitude, and that's always been the attitude of our club, too, throughout its history.
For this reason I managed to experience one of the best moments of my life, finally lifting that trophy. I'd played in a World Cup final and two EURO finals and had won them all, but that title was still missing. The Champions League owed me something and that's how it repaid me.
On life under Zinédine Zidane ...
I have only ever had positive words for 'Zizou'. Not only because of what he did [as a player], what he represented and the time we spent together as team-mates, but also as a coach. He has not been back for long and does not have that much coaching experience, but he really boosted the team at an important time.
He's heavily involved. The great player that 'Zizou' was is something he retains as a coach. We try to implement the ideas he had as a player, which he is now adapting as a coach. He's been getting the best out of every player at a crucial stage of the season.
On the privilege of playing with Cristiano Ronaldo ...
It's difficult to imagine Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo: he guarantees you at least 50 goals a season. It's very difficult to keep that level up for so many years, as he has done. As a club, we'll have that guarantee for as long as he stays here and it's a real luxury.
On assuming the captaincy following Iker Casillas's departure ...
In order to set an example you have to perform well, work hard and give your all; show the younger lads so you can ask the same of them. I'm very happy to have the chance to lead this team. I hope we can produce a great performance on the day.