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REAL MADRID

"I'd rather win 'La Décima' than the World Cup" admits Ramos

The Madrid defender previewed Sunday’s Clásico with La Cope radio on Thursday night: “It’s unusual to have three teams in the title race”.

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Sergio Ramos was the special guest on La Cope’s ‘El Partido de las 12’ programme on Thursday night. The centre-back is dreaming about winning the Champions League with Real Madrid: “I’ve got a tattoo of the World Cup but not the European Cup; right now, I'd rather win 'La Décima' than the World Cup. If I manage to win both, I might mention it to those who have criticized me”.

Barça’s season: “Barcelona are having a fantastic season; maybe people have become accustomed to seeing them up there but it’s unusual to have three teams in the title race and with the amount of points we have at this stage of the campaign”.

Pepe: “He’s learned from his mistakes and he’s matured. Both of us have made mistakes. The press makes out that we are both violent players but we just get on with it. Every team has to defend as they know how”.

Good atmosphere within the squad: “I can sense that there’s a feeling of affection which was lost for a while – the fans were divided, we don’t know why because the players haven’t changed. We’re still the same players but we’re seen differently now. There have been hierarchies within the squad but only for age difference; we’ve never had cliques in the dressing room”.

Casillas: “Casillas is a great captain – both for the national team and Madrid. I’m the deputy captain and both us have different duties within the dressing room. I’ve known a few captains who are leaders and others who aren’t – he’s a leader”.

Cristiano Ronaldo: “I have a great friendship with him. When a team mate has a problem, you have to help them and take care of them. Whenever I have had problems, he has worried about me and looked out for me”.

Fitness problems at the start of the campaign: “That was something I was aware of at the time but I’ve always talked loud and clear in the good times and the bad times. I’ve always been honest. I think it was more of a mental problem than a physical one – I was a little unmotivated. The whole issue with Florentino didn’t help either. Some of the criticism I received was a lack of respect and some of the things that were said still hurt. Certain people have to accept the fact that Sergio Ramos has spent 10 years at the top... I get all kinds of remarks – about my haircut; they invent things, my lifestyle and those who are close to me such as my Dad and my brother. I’ve always been open and honest about who I am, it’s not for others to judge”.

Criticism: “I don’t let it affect me - just look at my honours list, the one who has the last laugh is me”.

Winning the Champions League or the World Cup: “I’ve got a tattoo of the World Cup but not the European Cup; right now, I'd rather win 'La Décima' than the World Cup. If I manage to win both, I might mention it to those who have criticized me

Diego Costa: “I’m a big fan of his style of play and his character. Spain have employed a possession, passing-based style of play and sometimes we need a centre-forward. Diego Costa and Negredo have the attributes we need”.

Jesé: “It’s a real shame because the injury happened just when he was entering this incredible moment in his career. But looking on the bright side, he’s young and nobody is in any doubt about his talent, the team will be all the better when he returns”.

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