Sergio Ramos has celebrated Iker Casillas’ return to playing, as well as reflected on the challenge Spain face at the Confederations Cup this summer.
Casillas made his first competitive appearance since January in starting Spain’s 2-1 win against Haiti on Friday in Miami.
The previous five months had seen the goalkeeper have to recover from surgery on a fractured hand and then take to the substitutes’ bench in Jose Mourinho’s preference for Diego Lopez at Real Madrid.
For his teammate, seeing the 32-year-old behind him once more on the pitch was noteworthy.
“Iker is the symbol of Spain and Madrid, he has been missed,” commented Ramos to reporters this week.
“It brought great joy the other day when he returned in Miami. He was a little nervous in the downtime, but eager.
“I have seen him work with enthusiasm to return to the field. For Casillas, as for me, to play for Spain is always a source of pride and to do so after such a long absence has been a great joy for Iker.
“Now our goal is to help the team do their best in the Confederations Cup.”
La Roja are expected to advance from their group in this summer’s tournament, one that they have never won before.
“Since we could not win any titles with Madrid this season, we would love to do so with La Roja.
“The Confederations Cup is one that we lack in our honours, and we will try to win the trophy in Brazil.
“It will not be easy. From the moment of the first match against Uruguay, a squad that we have faced a months ago in Qatar and who compete very well.
“They have great players and will try to beat Spain. Then, there are other rivals in the competition like Italy, Brazil and Mexico, who are very tough.
“If a European side were to ever win a World Cup in America, that would be something.
“For Spain, the Confederations Cup will not be an easy tournament, but it will serve as a testbed for the World Cup.
“It’s a responsibility but also a great joy to play with the team. Spain has shown that we have not lose the strength that led us to the last World Cup.”