Real Madrid central defender Sergio Ramos sent out a message for all the Madrid fans as 'los blancos' endeavour to cut Barcelona's lead at the top of the table and bring Champions League number ten back to the Bernabéu. Ramos also stressed that Madrid is characterised by its values, which include never giving up, and was convinced that the team is "on the right track."
"I think if you asked any fan, new or old, they would tell you that it is our duty to fight for every trophy. This is complicated, of course, but not impossible; what better way to start than against Real Sociedad. Obviously the Champions League is very important to the fans and we aspire to win it and make them happy," the defender said.
Anxiety in the squad: "I don't think that's the problem. I think in football you also go on bad runs and maybe in recent games things haven't gone the way we wanted them to, particularly in front of goal, because we haven't been as efficient as we were last season. But a break is a good time to reflect and demand more of yourself; I'm the first to admit that we could give more. But we're on the right track and our attitude has always been good."
The difference between last season and this campaign: "Nothing has changed that much between then and the current situation; it's the same team, but football goes through phases and when things don't go the way you want them to you have to stick together."
The next two home games: "There's no better way to start the year than getting a couple of wins, and getting back to picking up points like last year, that's what we want primarily."
Cruyff's opinions: "I respect the opinion of someone that was a great player, but we've got our own problems and conclusions and for now they remain."
His substitution against Man City and Casillas' against Málaga: "You learn things at Madrid every day, and I'm the first to learn. I was young when I came here and I've been lucky enough to play in the best team in the world that instils values in you. They are technical decisions that are nothing to do with us. As Iker said, we're not machines and we all have our moments, but above all else they are technical decisions and there is nothing more to be said."
Motivation: "I don't think it has changed at all. Obviously when results go against you, it's important to keep a cool head, not to be impulsive, and stick together. Football is different from one day to the next and we have to think about bouncing back. I wake up incredibly motivated, and have the same level of excitement I did when I was younger; if that wasn't the case I'd have a problem."
Varane: "I identify with him because of the age he joined the club at. He's got many qualities and can be a great player that can learn a lot from the other players he's with."
Defensive injuries: "We'll come out of this the way we always have, in football there are always good and bad runs. Other clubs have probably gone through the same but it hasn't been talked about as much. That says a lot about the impact this club has, but we just have to focus on winning games."
Pepe's injury: "Of course an injury to a massive player has an effect, particularly because of his consistency in recent years. He's been key to the side and he will be missed. All we can do is hope he returns soon because he's an important player on and off the pitch."
A divided dressing room because of Casillas: "Iker was here the day before yesterday so that's not for me to answer. I could talk about it if I was allowed to, but I think it's better to get Iker's opinion. I can assure you that we get on well, we're good friends, and we've been through a lot together. I don't see anything strange. Obviously everyone might have different opinions, but the gaffer is in charge and what the boss says goes."
Difficult Christmas holidays: "On a professional level they haven't been that difficult, just different because last year's seemed so recent. But I always try to disconnect and be with loved ones. Having said that, it's always a privilege to be here."
Tattoos and biography: "I'm happy about bringing out a biography. It was a unique moment to be at the presentation with my loved ones and those that have been there during difficult times. The tattoos are different stages in my life and things about my family, without which I wouldn't be the person and the professional I am today."