LONDON, Sept 7: Spain captain Sergio Ramos and his team mates want to seduce world football again after tumbling from the summit of the game as they begin a new era under coach Luis Enrique away to England in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday.
Spain have had disappointing showings at their last three major tournaments since dominating the world game between 2008 and 2012 when they lifted back-to-back European Championship titles either side of their first World Cup triumph. They endured a nightmare World cup campaign when they were knocked out by unfancied hosts Russia after Spain coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the tournament.
However, Ramos said there was renewed enthusiasm around the squad since Luis Enrique, who was a serial winner during his three seasons in charge of Barcelona, had take over. "In the last few years Spain have dropped a couple of levels and our objective is to recover what made us win in the first place," Ramos told a news conference on Friday. "The coach and players have a great challenge in front of us in trying to win again. We have a lot of ambition but we have to show it. We want the world to fall in love with us again."
Ramos said it has been an intense first week working with the new coach ahead of their opening Nations League game in League A, Group 4 which also includes Croatia. "The boss has asked us to pay more attention this week because everything was new so we've had days of team talks, lots of dialogue and lots of work," Ramos added. "We've received a lot of new information and we're try to translate that to the pitch so our fans can enjoy themselves again."
Real Madrid defender Ramos also said he had no concerns about the treatment he might receive from England supporters on his first visit to the country since tangling with Liverpool's Egypt forward Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final. Salah injured his shoulder after falling under a heavy challenge from Ramos as Real went on to win 3-1. "I never go onto the pitch with the intention of injuring another professional so I have a very clear conscience," he said. "...if the Premier League is known for something it's for the good reception it always gives to the best players. "I've come here to win with Spain and I don't care what people might say or how I will be received." (UNI)