Real Madrid take on Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League next month in the pick of the round.
The game would be a titanic clash by itself, but it’s been burnished by the presence of three players of genuine interest to Madrid in PSG’s ranks.
There’s Kylian Mbappe, the forward Madrid are desperate to sign during this summer transfer window. There’s Lionel Messi, the man who inspired Barcelona to many painful nights for Madrid.
And then, of course, there’s Sergio Ramos, perhaps the most emblematic captain in the history of Madrid. He left the Santiago Bernabeu during the summer after 16 glorious years for PSG.
“He wasn’t just a teammate, he was my captain,” Toni Kroos said to TVE in comments carried by Marca of his former colleague Ramos. “It’s going to be a little weird to play against him.”
Ramos has endured a difficult beginning to his career at the Parc des Princes due to injury, but is beginning to hit form recently.
Both sides are lording it over their domestic leagues. Madrid are four points clear of second-placed Sevilla in La Liga and PSG are eleven clear of second-placed Nice in Ligue 1.