Malaga and Belarus defender Egor Filipenko has claimed that Sergio Ramos is the best centre-back in Europe ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Spain.
Despite playing just once for the Andalucians since arriving from BATE Borisov in January, the 27-year-old is a mainstay in the Belarussian backline, having earned 38 caps for his country since 2007, and admits he aspires to emulate his Real Madrid rival.
“Spain are one of the best teams in the world,” he told Marca.
“It’ll be hard to beat them, that’s no secret. They’re a much-better team than Belarus, but anything can happen in football.
“We have little chance of reaching the Euros, so we have to do our best in all our remaining matches, try to pick up points and eventually see what happens. Hope’s the last thing you lose.
“I don’t know if I could choose a Spain player not to play in this game.
“The truth is that I’d prefer not to play any of them, but my favourite is Sergio Ramos. He’s Europe’s best in in his position.
“It’s still difficult to assess [new Coach Alexandr Jatskevich], but the results are still positive. Time will tell whether the change is good or not.
“We’re now 83rd in the FIFA ranking, but I think it’s too low a level compared to the football we actually play.
“Seeing how we play and the potential we have, I think we can make the top 50. It would be more in keeping with our actual level.”