Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos says his side’s presence in the Champions League final is a reward for years of hard work.

Los Blancos suffered three consecutive semi-final defeats in Europe’s premier club competition before finally going one better this time around.

Ahead of Saturday’s match with cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid, the defender is delighted to be taking part in the showpiece occasion and said his teammates felt excited about the contest, rather than under pressure to deliver the club’s tenth victory in the competition.

“It’s a unique moment. It’s a dream and a reward for our work and sacrifice for so many years,” Ramos told reporters.

“While we are looking at it more from a collective level, it’s the reward for the work that the core of the team have done through all these years.

“There doesn’t have to be any pressure and there doesn’t have to be any obsession. I think it is more excitement that we have, the excitement of winning the Champions League and being able to share it with our fans.

“There is a great happiness to be able to finish the season with an occasion like this, playing in a great stadium. Physically I feel very good.”

Ramos then commented on Madrid’s opponents, Diego Simeone’s Atleti, and said the match would probably be similar to the Copa Del Rey final between the sides last year.

“Obviously we will be trying to hurt Atletico with the weapons we have and our style of football. We mustn’t invent or change our philosophy that has brought us to where we are now.

“It won’t be that different to the Copa Del Rey final last season because both teams have practically the same players.

“There is a trophy up for grabs and it is more or less 50-50. Each team will be going out to win the match.

“The fans know we are capable of bringing La Decima home. What we need is their excitement, their affection and their support as it will fire us up in Lisbon.”

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