Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos admits he has ‘huge respect’ for the Barcelona stalwart Lionel Messi ahead of Sunday’s El Clásico
La Liga arch-rivals will lock horns in a blockbuster, heavyweight clash at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night, with Ramos and Messi expected to captain their respective sides in this top-of-the-table fixture.
With just two points separating the teams ahead of the kick-off, Los Blancos can regain the top place should they manage to beat the Catalans in the league head-to-head for the first time since 2014 (L4).
In the build-up to the match, Sergio Ramos has revealed his ‘huge respect’ for his Barcelona counterpart, regarding him as ‘one of the greatest players in history.’
“I think he’s one of the greatest players in history, and I have huge respect for him,” the 33-year-old defender said, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Sergio Ramos on #Messi:— Camp Nou Barça (@cnbarca) February 28, 2020
"I think he’s one of the greatest players in history and I have huge respect for him. I wish him all the best as a fellow professional but only as long as it doesn’t affect us negatively!."
[goal]#ForçaBarça #FCB pic.twitter.com/LmKD4Ba0Ot
“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.”
Ramos goes into this encounter on the back of a dismal midweek’s performance that saw him pick up the 26th red card in his trophy-laden career during Real’s 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie.
He is now on the verge of becoming the player with the most Clasico appearances, as this is going to be his tiebreaker 43rd El Clásico, which will put him one ahead of Barca legend Xavi Hernandez.