This song talks about a street where dreams come true. Where was that for you as a youngster?
Well, it wasn't really a street; it was a square in my neighborhood in Camas. It’s where I started playing games using two trees as one goal and two rocks as the other. That's where you really enjoy your childhood and your friends. That's where you start to dream about your future and have aspirations of becoming somebody.
So Sergio Ramos' first football pitch was a square with rocks instead of goals?
That's right, that's the reality of how a lot of footballers have started. In my case that's where I started. As time passed a few friends and I played behind the buildings where we lived. It was still a rocky pitch but at least it wasn't asphalt like the one in the square we used to play on.
Until what time did your parents let you play football? Did you have a curfew?
Yes, my parents were very strict when it came to that. I had to get up early in the morning to go to school and because I had been training since I was very young in the Sevilla youth academy my timetable was very full. I would train with my team all the time and have very few days off. So around 9:00 at night my parents were always whistling at me from the balcony telling me to come home.
Who is the real Sergio Ramos as a person, for those who don't know you?
That's difficult to say. When people first see a footballer the impression they have is what they see on TV or in a match. It's a shame because people don't really know what footballers are really like. They remember isolated incidents in matches that could be negative, like a strong challenge or a something they see in training. People have access to limited information so they don't really know what you are like; they don't know if you are humble, outgoing or nice. I'm very honest, sincere, a good friend and very outgoing and happy although sometimes that is not what people see when they look at me. I consider myself a very happy guy. I wake up and sing and also sing when I go to bed. I play the guitar and always try to be happy, so I think that if people got to spend some time with me they would see what I’m really like.
How can you be the second captain of Real Madrid being only 24 years old?
Well, it's taken a lot of hard work and all my experience as a footballer has rewarded me with being second captain of real Madrid. It's a dream come true for me so of course I'm very happy to share my captainship with Iker Casillas. There are a lot of people that have been very important for me to achieve my goals and one of them is our President Florentino Perez. He took a chance by signing me and through hard work I've shown everybody that he made the right decision. It's very important for me to have clear ideas and to know exactly where I stand. I know the history of this club so for me it's a dream come true to be here for six years and be the second captain and hopefully I’ll be able to end my professional career in this club.
Iker Casillas spoke very well about you in the previous interview. He said that for being so young you embody a lot of the values that a real Madrid captain should have. What has he taught you?
We have a great relationship. I can't put it in words. It is true that we've always had a special relationship since I started playing in the national team; not only him but with Raul too. He has been very kind to me and since they are unconditional Madridistas they taught me a great deal of things from them, but also from Zidane, Beckham, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos. A player from the Real Madrid youth system like Casillas that has fought and worked for years to become what he is now has given me an example to follow and sharing the dressing room with him, the best goalkeeper in the world and all that entails has been an incredible lesson for me on how to carry a dressing room, be a leader and captain of such a great club. So I’ve been very lucky to share this with him and hopefully we will continue to have this relationship for many years.
I always ask myself what does a player do when he signs for Real Madrid? What did you do and how did you feel the day that you signed?
Wow. I was called up for the Spanish national team that day. I just had a couple of things in my bag since it was a typical concentration for the national team which was just a couple of days long. We trained, played the match and then went back home. That day I didn't go back home. I signed at 11:30 at night and the transfer window closed at 12:00. I was in Las Rozas Football City, where the national team trains, and when I signed it was unbelievable. I think I've never received so many text messages. I knew it was a huge step in my life that came with a great deal of responsibility that I wasn't fully aware of because I was so young without the experience that I have. So for me it was something that I couldn't believe or understand. I went to sleep as a Sevilla player and woke up as a Real Madrid player knowing that I was going to share a dressing room with incredible players like Ronaldo, Beckham, Zidane, Raul, Casillas and Roberto Carlos, who were my idols so I had them on a pedestal. So I had two options. One was to think that after signing for Real Madrid I had conquered it all, and the other was to accept the reality that I hadn't done anything as a professional and that it was time for me to really show my skills as a player.
Did you sleep that night?
No. I slept very little; my brother can attest to that. My family stayed up celebrating but I tried to get some rest and get back to normal and that night I would be exaggerating if I told you that I slept for an hour.
Have you changed a lot between when you signed in 2005 and now?
In general I think everybody changes as time goes on for many different reasons, Whether it's because of mistakes you've made or goals you have accomplished, different experiences or family issues, I think that it's a series of factors that affect you as a person or as a professional. I've matured, I'm more experienced now, I now have clear ideas of what I want and what I don't want and also what is good or bad for me. Evidently this helps me in my life.
Talking to you is talking to a quiet and calm guy, but then in the dressing room you are the life of the party so to speak. You bring happiness; you are notorious for always putting on music. What is the best thing that ever happened to you in the dressing room?
I don't like telling too many anecdotes about the dressing room, but as I said before, I think that people have a completely different perception of who I really am. In my case it's completely the opposite and I think anyone from Real Madrid or the Spanish national team will tell you that I'm the first guy to put on music and joke around with everybody. I can joke around with people but also take jokes from others. You have to be able to give them and take them.
Even if a joke makes you feel a little uncomfortable.
Yes of course, there are a lot of those. Right now in the dressing room boots are disappearing. One of Casilla's boots went missing and a week later one of my boots went missing. I think that joking around like that makes everybody be on the same level and it unites us in the dressing room. I think that this is necessary for us to ultimately win titles. There has to be a good vibe in the dressing room, even if we are from completely different parts of the world with different cultures and religions. All of us are here to defend our crest and to fight for titles because that’s what we all want. So we have to have fun, laugh and create a good atmosphere. I could tell you a million different stories but I'd rather let my teammates tell you. They'll have a lot about me.
We will continue asking them for stories. You are sitting where Mourinho sat two weeks ago and he said that he thought that this team was going to be successful although it's very young. What has Mourinho added to the Real Madrid dressing room?
We are obligated to win this tie. It was a shame since we played a good match in a very difficult stadium against a team that had already eliminated us twice and that we had beaten. We had a great result with ten minutes to go in the match and ended up with a draw. We can't be negative though. We know that an away goal is very important and that playing in the Bernabeu with our fans will be a decisive factor. Having fans like ours is a privilege, but we have play our game and hopefully get through to the quarterfinals to not only give our fans what they want, but to also accomplish what we strive for.
How do you want the fans to support the team during the match against Lyon?
I'd like to have fans that we are used to. Fans that are not only hungry for the Cup and La Liga, but also for the Champions League. When you go the Bernabeu for Champions League the atmosphere is different because people really want to win the tenth Champions League title, and want to be one of the top teams in Europe, not just in Spain. So I trust our fans and I know that it will be a special night worthy of our victory on the field and our pass to the quarterfinals.
In closing, Jose Mourinho said that when he passed by Cibeles he would glance at it thinking that he wants to be there at the end of the season, although he doesn't like celebrations too much and that he would love to see his players there celebrating a title. Casillas said that his dream is to be at Cibeles and that for this club it would be very important to be there at the end of the season. When you pass by the Paseo de la Castellana and you see Cibeles, what do you feel?
I feel a lot of things. My first titles were with Real Madrid. I celebrated my first two leagues with this club so I have great memories of being at Cibeles and looking around and seeing the streets full of Real Madrid supporters. It is priceless. What football makes people feel and especially what Real Madrid makes people feel is special, so every time I pass by Cibeles I want to go back to celebrate a title there, but I know that this is done with hard work and by doing things well. So I think that if we continue in this path of humility, hard work and hunger, we will be successful at the end of the season.