INTERVIEW | 17/08/2015“Extending my contract is a dream come true and a commitment as I will be the team captain", he added.
Sergio Ramos spoke to Realmadrid TV and Realmadrid.com following his contract extension with the club until 2020. The defender spoke about his new era as a Madrid player: "It is a challenge and I am really excited about tackling the final stage of my contract with Real Madrid. You cannot ask more from life; five years to win the maximum number of titles possible and the chance for me to lift them after being here for so long".
What is going through Sergio Ramos' head on the day you extended your contract?
It is a unique day, full of excitement and emotion, for me and my family too. After ten years of very positive memories, on both a personal and professional level, being in the capital for a period in my life and at the best club in the world, it is a dream come true to extend my contract, as well as a commitment as I will have to captain the side. It is a challenge and a new dream that I hope to undertake in the best way possible.
How do you remember your arrival at the club?
It was a very important step in my life. I was player who was practically coming from a small town after spending a really great period of my youth in Seville. Arriving at the best club in the world at such a young age, and being practically unknown in the world of football was a tremendous amount of pressure. I remember the first day I went out on the pitch at the Bernabéu, really excited and wanting to conquer the world. You should not forget the effort and sacrifice that made you into an elite player and especially being at Real Madrid. This club instils values that educate you on a personal and professional level. I feel proud to have had the best club in the world as a teacher.
In what way have you changed since your arrival?
In terms of experience and maturity that you gain with time, over the years, and from playing with highly experienced players, who you take the best attributes from. Playing, playing and playing some more makes you different and want to keep improving so that you can play at the top level. The effort has its rewards and I feel proud to have collected all the fruits of that labour.
You have given everything for the Real Madrid shirt, what do you feel when you put it on?
The club has values and a history that anyone who puts on the shirt should bear in mind above anything else. Sevillian blood as well as Real Madrid flows through my entire being and my heart. They have been two great periods of my life and when you put on the shirt you have to give absolutely everything for the badge. In that sense I have always really identified with the values of the club: work, perseverance, sacrifice, not throwing in the towel until the last minute. Those values go with the shirt and people should always know that when they wear the Real Madrid badge.
What does it mean for you to be the team captain?
A lot of good things. Throughout my career I have had captains from whom I have tried to learn the best I could. They have been good examples for me and I will try to be like that for others. Team mates need the support of the captain and your affection at certain times. A captain instils a series of values in players who need that and above all, is an example for team mates, players and children in the street. It is a challenge and I am really excited about tackling the final stage of my contract with Real Madrid. You cannot ask more from life; five years to win the maximum number of titles possible and the chance for me to lift them after being here for so long.
How would you define yourself?
When I go out on the pitch I try to perform at my highest level. We are people, not machines and we can have games that are better or worse than others, but above all you have you have to keep calm and hold your head high. You have to try, and fight, so that there are never any excuses, which is what people can criticise you for. In that regard, I have always gone home with a clear conscience. If there is something that defines Madrid fans and our badge, it is honour, sacrifice, sharpness, perseverance and effort, if you show those attributes on the pitch here, people value you.
Apart from those characteristics, you also like and are good at joining the attack...
It is really nice, because as I am a defender, goals are enjoyed in a different way. This attribute is linked to me because I have been lucky and have the ability to score goals, also in very important games. I hope that in the five years I have left there will be the odd goal from Sergio Ramos. It is a different source of joy.
When you hear 92 minutes and 48 seconds, what comes into your head
It is really clear, Lisbon, the Champions League, effort, sacrifice, union, team work. It was the best moment in my sporting career, due to the circumstances of the game, and Real Madrid is identified with sacrifice, effort and never surrendering until the last second. There I was and finally we took home La Décima.
Was it a dream to win La Décima?
I think that the Champions League was in debt to me following the penalty against Bayern or the day against Dortmund, that we were about to go through to the final. I think that you achieve things, dreams and hopes with sacrifice and effort. The Champions owed me something and certainly gave it to me.
How do you maintain the competitive level over such a long time?
You have to be thankful for the team work. You do not shine if the group is not good. The team is crucial to standing out on an individual level faced with the rest of world football. Five years in the FIFA Fifpro World XI is a reward for the work and effort. It is another award, less important because I prefer team awards but it is always very agreeable.