Sergio Ramos is loving life at Real Madrid but admits ‘every day is a test’ at a club that size.
Ramos moved to Santiago Bernabeu from Sevilla in 2005 and has spoken to FIFA’s official website about his early days at the club he now captains.
“I looked to the left and saw Zinedine Zidane, and to the right I saw Roberto Carlos. That was really something,” he recalled.
“I was a boy from Seville with lots of hopes, ambitions and desire to get to the very top. It took a few months before it sank in what being here meant. But I have very fond memories of all my teammates. They treated me really well and I adapted superbly.”
More than a decade on and Ramos suggests it’s aspiring to Madrid’s high standards that keeps him focused.
“I’ve spent 11 years at the best club in the world and every day is a test,” he acknowledged.
“It’s not easy to cope at a club like ours. That’s why I’m proud and motivated to keep working to keep improving. You can’t live in the past here.”
Ramos succeeded Iker Casillas with the armband when the goalkeeper left for Porto in the summer, and wants to set an example as skipper, citing his ‘idol,’ Fernando Hierro.
“I have a very good relationship with [some of Madrid’s former captains]. And they also give great advice,” he revealed.
“The captain should set the example in everything and offer support in every situation, he should be there for any problem a teammate might have.
“That means you always have to behave appropriately. You have to try to be above reproach, to be the first one to step forward and be a focal point for your teammates.”