Champions League: Ramos talks facing Madrid, Mbappe's future and Messi relationship

By Sports Desk December 13, 2021

Sergio Ramos would have preferred Paris Saint-Germain to have avoided Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League but conceded "I have to face the present".

The Los Blancos legend spent 16 trophy-laden years in the Spanish capital, where he won five LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among his plethora of honours.

Centre-back Ramos made the switch to Ligue 1 with powerhouses PSG ahead of the 2021-22 season after Madrid opted not to offer him a new contract.

In a twist of fate, Ramos' new side were paired to do battle with his former club, but only after a re-draw was needed following a technical glitch with the first attempt.

Speaking at the opening of his new gym in Madrid, Ramos opened up about the prospect of coming up a club so close to his heart.

"Fate is very unpredictable. I'd have liked us to draw another team, but that's how it is," Ramos said.

"You know the affection and love I have for Real Madrid, that won't ever change. Now I have to face the present. I play for PSG.

"It's a mixture of feelings. I'd have liked not to have had this tie, but on the other hand coming home to the Bernabeu, I had the best years of my life here and not having had a goodbye because of COVID, it's gratifying. 

"I'd have liked it to be another way but that's football. I have to defend my team. I'll go to the death with PSG."

Another sub-plot thrown up by the tie is the fact Kylian Mbappe will come against Madrid, who were rebuffed in their attempts to sign the France star on transfer deadline day.

With Mbappe out of contract in June there is the possibility he may have agreed a pre-contract agreement with Madrid by the time he plays against them with PSG.

Ramos, though, hopes Mbappe decides to stay with the Ligue 1 leaders.

"I like to be surrounded by the best players and he is a key part of PSG in the present and in the future. I want him to continue in my team," he added.

At PSG, Ramos has linked up with long-time rival and Barcelona great Lionel Messi, a player with whom he has done battle with many times over the years.

But now Ramos says the two have a relationship built on mutual respect in Paris.

"Now we share a dressing room and we have a very good relationship. We try to help PSG win," he said.

"The goal is the Champions League and both Messi and I can contribute something. The relationship is one of admiration and respect for both parties."

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