ATLÉTICO-REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos surprises with wild, unkempt look ahead of the derby

The captain posted his usual message to motivate team mates and fans on social media ahead of this afternoon's key clash with Atleti at the Wanda.

Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos surprises with wild, unkempt look ahead of the derby
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Sergio Ramos won't be leading Real Madrid out at the Wanda Metropolitano for this afternoon's derby clash with Atlético, but as always, he will be cheering the team on from the sidelines. The Madrid derby is always a special event - this particularly one more so for both team's positions in the standings and the skipper wanted to take the opportunity to send a message of unity ahead of the game. He posted a tweet of support: "Training session is over. It's Madrid derby day!" - which he accompanied with a picture of himself with his long hair loose and unkempt and the bushy beard he has had since last year.

Ramos is in the final stage of his recovery after undergoing surgery on his internal meniscus back on 6 February. His objective is to be available again for the Champions League return leg against Atalanta on 16 March; and get some minutes before that in the LaLiga meeting with Elche three days earlier in Valdebebas. He has been hard at work, as she showed with a series of updates on his recovery on Twitter.

Atlético and Real Madrid play what could be a crucial match in the race for LaLiga with the Colchoneros five points ahead in the table but with a game in hand. A home win would see them ease further away from their city rivals who, without their captain, need to win to keep the pressure on their neighbours.