Sergio Ramos plays down Real 'meeting'
Sergio Ramos says the "clear the air" meeting reportedly called by him and Iker Casillas at Real Madrid’s training ground on Monday will help the team come out of a "crisis" moment the club finds itself in just eight games into the new season.
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The Madrid club captains reportedly got all their team-mates together with the coaching staff to talk through issues which arose during Saturday night’s 1-0 defeat to city rivals Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu -- a result which saw them fall five points behind Atletico and Barcelona in La Liga's title race.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Group B clash with FC Copenhagen at the Bernabeu, the Spain international defender said such team meetings always happened, and helped players to thrash out problems openly and then move forward.
"There is no need to give more importance to the meeting," Ramos said. "In the times of Santillana, Camacho, Pirri, Juanito similar things happened. It is always positive to talk things out in the dressing-room, and it is always positive. The things stay inside, but there have also been meetings in good moments. Now that maybe there is a crisis there is more talk about it, but in all teams it is good that people talk and say things which need to be said, directly to each other’s faces."
Everyone in the Madrid dressing-room was behind coach Carlo Ancelotti, Ramos added, echoing similar words from Cristiano Ronaldo after the weekend’s disappointing derbi defeat.
"As ‘Cris’ said, we are all with the coach, and believe completely in him," the Andalucian said. "[Ancelotti] has his part in the responsibility, as do the players. We are not influenced by anything negative outside. Nobody should invent or write negative stories, because the team is more united than ever, there is a good atmosphere in the dressing-room, everyone delighted with the coach, and the results will come."
Ramos also backed misfiring Blancos forward Karim Benzema, who Spanish TV had shown arguing with team-mate Pepe on the pitch during Saturday’s game, and who fans had whistled due to a perceived lack of effort and commitment.
"Whatever happens in dressing-room stays inside," he said. "When things need to be resolved they should be resolved. Karim lives through goals and when there are no goals he will be criticised. But for me he is one of the best forwards in the world. Everyone has been whistled at the Bernabeu. Nobody likes it, but it can help you to improve."
Madrid would sort their issues out quickly, and be challenging for the Primera Division, Champions League and Copa del Rey when the business end of the season came around, Ramos maintained.
"Of course we have things to improve on, we are not in our best moment, and you can see that in the performances," he said. "We can play much better, but we are all united and helping each other to get out of this. Bit by bit we will get back to winning ways. The season is very long, we have had a few games which have not been good, but nobody should doubt that we will back when the trophies are being decided."