‘Rayo will be worthy opponents’

Paco Jemez has reflected that Rayo Vallecano will show respect but not fear against Real Madrid, and prove a ‘worth opponent’.

Rayo play host to their city neighbours on Saturday evening for Week 12 of La Liga and they do so sat 19th in La Liga off the back of two defeats in a row.

“To beat a team like Madrid we have to be better. Never fear, respect, always. It is a pleasure to compete with one of the best teams in the world,” Jemez mused pre-match.

“We believe it is possible. I have dreamt that we have given them a test. By that I mean we defeated them. I hope that this dream is translated into reality.

“But for that we must be very fine in terms of quantity and quality. On Wednesday in Pamplona we have 70 per cent possession of the ball, we played over 600 passes, fired 20 shots at goal.

“That is very good date, which must be rounded with fewer defensive mistakes and more success in attack.”

“How will we stop Ronaldo? Madrid are not just Cristiano. We will try to make them uncomfortable and look for our opportunities. We also have players that can pose in their underwear, including the Coach,” joked Jemez in reference to a 30ft poster of Ronaldo posing in underwear displayed in the capital this week to publicise the player’s new range.

“I care about the Cristiano playing in the field and not the one out of the field. Cristiano is very versatile. When he is on the field we know very well what he does, he is a great competitor.

“He is always hungry and that is very good. He is in an important moment. He’s a great player that every year is more surprising because he is a winner and has a talent.

“He never reaches his limit, there is no ceiling.”

Sergio Ramos is available for Madrid despite having picked up a fifth booking of the season in his last game.

The defender’s automatic one-game suspension won’t be ratified until after the weekend, as the Competition Committee are not meeting as usual today, with it a public holiday.

“It is logical, the Competition Committee must rest. Sergio Ramos is a great player and I am glad that he will play, I want them all to play and for us to compete against the best.

“Hopefully they will bring all the stars, because the show and the challenge would be greater for us, in order to demonstrate that there is hope within this team.

“We will be a worthy opponent. Levante and Elche almost succeeded and we also have that possibility.”

Rayo have the worst defence in La Liga, having already shipped 27 goals.

“Every game is different, but we have to improve our defensive attitude to have our chances. The team is angry and that is good.

“It makes you go into the next game looking to demonstrate what you could not in the previous one. I believe this team has done a lot right, even as it is also true we need to improve in other areas.

“At times like this I am most proud to be Rayo Coach.”

Tags Paco Jemez Ronaldo