‘Modric played a perfect ball…’

Sergio Ramos has recalled his goal against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League Final that set Real Madrid on the way to La Decima.

Ramos equalised late on in Lisbon and as Los Blancos prepare to face the same opposition, the Madrid captain recalled what went through his head as he scored to tie the game 1-1 in the final moments.

“You go up in desperation, everything goes so fast you have no time to speak, you only hope there’s a good cross, that you can find it, leave your marker, and it happened perfectly,” he told El Laguero, AS reports.

“That week we put a lot of emphasis on dead balls and it was talked about widely. I saw there two, three teammates ahead of me and a lot of Atleti players. I got behind the scrum to try and anticipate and Diego Godin collided with his teammates. And then Luka Modric put in a perfect ball…

“In the locker room there were too many words, even more hugs, reward for the work, the sacrifice, the unity of the group. It was certainly one of the happiest nights of my life.

“It was difficult to think the two teams would play again. You have to give credit to both, two years later we’re in a Champions League Final thanks to the work.

“Take a player out of Atleti? I like to win against the best, the best XI they have. I worry about the team, otherwise it would be disrespectful to the Atletico players and to the philosophy of Diego Simeone. But if you ask for a name, for me Antoine Griezmann is a great player.”

Madrid’s players have routinely been asked in the build-up to Saturday’s final if losing would constitute a failure, but Ramos rejects the idea out of hand.

“After a very difficult year, with a change of Coach, since Zinedine Zidane has arrived we feel identified with the game we play, we have pushed Barcelona to the last day, we’re facing this final as a new opportunity to give the fans a trophy…I wouldn’t focus on it as a failure,” he replied.

“Mark Clattenburg? I don’t know him personally but of course I recognise him. As captain you’re saluted and they ask you to help them on the pitch. The referee tries to be fair and neutral, have no preference. They might get things wrong, but it isn’t premeditated.”

Tags Sergio Ramos