Spain captain Sergio Ramos faced the media this evening to preview tomorrow's UEFA Nations League meeting with England - Luis Enrique's first game in charge. The defender praised the new coach and said he didn't fear a hostile reception from some English fans for his run-in with Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final against Liverpool: "I'm not worried. I have never intended to harm a fellow player out on the field of play. I never lose any sleep over those kinds of things, whether I'm playing at home or away".
Great rapport with new Spain coach
What are your first impressions on Luis Enrique after these first few days with the Spain squad? “We didn't know him personally (prior to him being appointed Spain coach). We only knew him from our meetings at club level. Our first contact with him couldn't have been any better, it was very good and that's positive. In spite of what some people might think - that we are two people with a lot of character, my own experience tells me that I tend to get along well with people who have a strong personality. We have the same objective, to take the national team back to the top. As the captain, I'm delighted with the new coach. Hopefully we can embrace his ideas and create the kind of football we all want to play”.
Did you get the impression that the Federation brought in Luis Enrique to kick you out of the national team? “No, not at all. I don't know whether sometimes, a section of the press have tried to pit us against each other because we are two men with a lot of character. The national team brings us together and we share the same objective. I still feel very young, full of hope, and I'm keen to keep winning more things with Spain. I have my own personal challenge in that I have been a first choice under all of the national team coaches I've played under. I only have nice things to say about the new coach”.
Not worried about backlash for Salah incident
Possibility of a hostile reception by England fans for what happened in the Champions League final against Liverpool: “I'm not worried. I have never intended to harm a fellow player out on the field of play. I never lose any sleep on that score, I sleep soundly whether I'm playing at home or away. I'm not worried about how England fans will treat me. One thing about the Premier League is that they always give great players the kind of reception they deserve and I'm not worried in the slightest. I've come here to win the game with Spain and everyone defends their corner with their own interests at heart”.