Sergio Ramos has had the pleasure of lifting a trophy on five separate occasions in 2017, the last of them coming in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, as Real Madrid won the FIFA Club World Cup for a third time.
“You never tire of winning,” said Ramos, in conversation with FIFA.com in the corridors of the Zayed Sports City Stadium. “It’s been an historic year, an amazing year, and it’s taken a lot of hard work.”
A three-time winner of the competition, like his club, the skipper wore a broad smile in recognition of the fact that he had just achieved something unique, for never before in the club’s illustrious 115-year history has one of its captains hoisted five out of a possible six trophies aloft.
“We were aware of the record,” acknowledged Ramos. “It made us even more motivated for today’s match.”
That perhaps explains why Madrid were at their very best from the moment the final with Gremio kicked off, dominating the match from start to finish despite the narrow 1-0 scoreline, with that only goal coming from Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We gave a complete performance,” added Ramos. “It was the right result and we deserve to take the title back to the capital. Now we need to keep on improving and get our confidence back.”
All down to Zidane
“He’s the captain of the ship and he’s got his hand on the tiller. We were very pleased when he arrived and we’ve been right behind him since day one. It’s been two years of triumphs and titles and he’s had a very big hand in everything that the team’s achieved. We’ve got to try and keep these good times rolling.”
Hot on the heels on Gento
This third Club World Cup takes to 18 the number of trophies the central defender has won with the Madrid giants. “That’s pretty good,” he said. “We’re one step closer to the players who’ve won most titles. On a personal level, it’s also an objective for me.” That objective is to catch the legendary Paco Gento, who won 23 titles in his Madrid career, more than any other player in the club’s history. “It’s a good sign that the team keeps on lifting trophies, because it’s also good for me individually.”
Level with Barça
“It’s not bad at all,” he said with a cheeky grin. “Barcelona have also done really well in the last few years. It’s always important for us to try and catch up with the best and excel ourselves. And now that we’ve pulled level, we’re going to try and move past them.”