Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has spilled the beans on what he feels abour his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.
“I have huge respect for him,” he told La Liga. “I think he’s one of the greatest players in history and I have huge respect for him. I hope Sunday isn’t his day, that would mean we’ve done our job, and if on top of that we can get a good result even better.
“I wish him all the best as a fellow professional but only as long as it doesn’t affect us negatively! It’s hard, but he has my maximum respect, I think he’s one of the best.”
El Clasico is known to get rough and dirty – meaning, violent. There has been a history of violent matches and dangerous behaviour and Ramos doesn’t want that any longer.
When asked how his side can cause the Catalans problems, Ramos said: “We’ve played them many times, so we know how to trouble them. Barcelona are a team who keep possession a lot. They’re most uncomfortable when you try to take it from them. Everyone knows that, not just Real Madrid.
“Putting pressure on them high up is risky but it causes them problems. Before it didn’t happen so much, maybe because teams gave them too much respect and they would play the ball out from the back really well. But I think that’s the key: pressure high up the pitch and try to steal the ball from them, that’s when they’re most uncomfortable.
“There’s always the risk that up top they’ve got very dangerous players who can be decisive in El Clasico. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, that we maintain our concentration from the first minute until the last and that things turn out as we want them to.”