16 May 2013
Sergio Ramos was interviewed in the Santiago Bernabeu press room the day leading up to the Copa del Rey final. Real Madrid’s second captain analyzed the upcoming match against Atletico and was confident that they’ll be able to dedicate the title to their fans: “We know our rival and we know that they’re tough. A title is at stake and we have to be demanding and defend the crest until the end. After what happened in the Champions, which was the last game in the Bernabeu with loads of enthusiasm, we have to try to win the Copa in honour of the fans, to return the affection we felt the day of the match against Borussia. But there are no favourites, the score is set at zero and we’ll give our all like we do in every game and that’s the key”.
Real Madrid will seek their second Copa del Rey in three seasons against their eternal rival. “We know the rival that we face, it’s a great rival and a team that has brought out the best in each player this year since Simeone took over. It will be a really tough game with a title at stake. When you play on your pitch is a bonus on a personal level, but it’s fair because the stadium will be divided equally for the fans of both teams and I hope ours can enjoy it a little more”, said Sergio Ramos, who assures that he feels in form: “The boss knows how I am, I’m ready and I’m the first player that wants to bring the best performance to the pitch. The most important thing is that the good of the group, the final, and we’ll see how we did the next day”.
When asked about what a win would mean to the squad, the defender replied: “The last thing we should worry about now are the rumours, the important thing is the group; Real Madrid is bigger than we are. When a title is at stake there shouldn’t be anything more important than that. We’ve opted to prepare well for the final and we’re ready for it to be here and to add another title to our trophy shelf”. About a possible favourite, Ramos said: “There are no favourites in a final, either squad can win and both have done plenty. We’re extra-motivated after the Champions elimination and we’re in good form for the final and the injuries are no excuse. Finals are played to win and that’s our attitude”.
Ramos spoke about how Mourinho has prepared the squad for the upcoming clash: “The coaches take care of motivating the players for these matches and if there’s something that I like about our coach it’s that he tries to motivate the group as much as he can with talks, videos, preparing the match the best way possible. When we take to the pitch, it all depends on the players. He pulls out all the stops and then it’s up to us. We all row in the same direction so that things go right”.
As to whether it would be a failure to lose the final, Ramos said: “Failure in terms of the title, but personally you have to feel satisfied with the work you’ve done, with the effort. You can lose, but there are different ways to do it. If you lose then let it be with an attitude. Anything can happen in football but there’s no need to be pessimistic. We’ve got the Copa left and we’re going to fight for it. We have to finish the match feeling good personally and collectively and with the fans going home happy”.
The Santiago Bernabeu will host its thirty-sixth Copa del Rey. Ramos spoke about the fact that the match will be played on his home pitch and expects to experience the same atmosphere as in the match against Borussia: “The Bernabeu has always surprised me, and in this case it was a good surprise. The stadium will be more divided for this final and it’s a bonus in our favour. Our fans have always given us their affection and it’s really important that they believe that we can”.
The Real defender also spoke about some individual teammates; Ramos thinks that Pepe is ready to play: “Of course, the coach has all of us available and he decides; we have to respect him. There is nothing wrong with any player, nor with Pepe. He hasn’t been pushed out; he’s training with the team just like everyone else”. Regarding the future of Cristiano, Ramos was clear: “There are few people who have 1,000 million euros to pay the clause and there’s little more to add. He’s a player that should be here and he’s happy in Madrid with no thoughts of leaving”.
The Andalusian defender was asked about his duel with Diego Costa and Falcao: “The match we had should serve as an example to learn from, both for them and for us, in order to not tarnish the image of the game. I learned something that day and I hope that they did as well. That people enjoy it, without any nonsense, each player defending his squad with respect. We’re mature and we have experience. We serve as examples for many people and loads of kids will be watching the match”.
On whether he’ll lift the Copa if Real win the final, Ramos explained: “It's a mystery. If we win you’ll see, I’m very clear on where I’m coming from, don’t expect anything unusual, if we win we’ll do the same as always”. When asked about if images from the final from two years ago will repeat, the defender replied: “Every moment is different. We have to appreciate that it’s a title and celebrate it as intended. Two years ago we had the luck to win the Copa against Valencia and if we win this one the celebration could be similar”. He was also asked about the ticket prices for the final: “We don’t have anything to do with that. The clubs decide on the prices. I would have liked for them to be a bit less expensive because of the situation the country is in. We can give our opinion but we can’t change it”.
Regarding Atletico’s starting eleven, Ramos commented: “I’m not the one that decides, they’re all ready to start and it’s the boss that decides. We’re all enthusiastic and prepared. No one feels like a starter or a substitute, that’s the mentality that we’re going to keep”. Regarding his appearance before the press: “The coach can answer his questions and I’ll answer mine. We’re here to talk about football, not about anyone’s future. I don’t think that there’s a question the coach would answer that I can’t answer myself. I’m one of the captains. Sometimes the coach comes out, sometimes the players. I don’t mind coming out and I do it happily. I’m not here to talk about Mourinho, only about the final. They tell me that there’s a press conference and I have no problem going to it”.
|Camiseta de Sergio Ramos en la tienda del Real Madrid para España|
|Camiseta de Sergio Ramos en la tienda del Real Madrid Internacional|