Madrid defender Nacho monitoring Ramos situation before making contract decision

By Sports Desk April 05, 2021

Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez has suggested he will wait to see if Sergio Ramos signs a new contract before deciding whether to also agree fresh terms.

Long-serving centre-back Ramos is due to be out of contract at the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the campaign, while Nacho has another season to run on his deal.

Madrid have been in talks with Ramos over extending his stay, but head coach Zinedine Zidane recently admitted he is unsure if the Spain international will put pen to paper.

Nacho's own future is far from certain and the 31-year-old, who has become a regular for Zidane, will see what Madrid's plans are before making a decision on whether to commit.

"Of course, whether Madrid renew Ramos, or sign a central defender or two, are decisions that influence my future," he said at a pre-match news conference on Monday.

"It's normal, everything affects [the situation]. I will look at it, analyse it and talk with my club and my family.

"I have spoken with the club. I have this season left and one more. I will make the best decision for myself after speaking with my club."

Ramos has not been included in Madrid's 21-man squad for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool due to a calf injury sustained on international duty.

He has spent the past 16 seasons with Los Blancos but has been strongly linked with a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the campaign.

"The best thing for him is that he stays," Nacho said. "As a team-mate, a friend and a Madridista, I can only say that the best thing for the club is that he stays.

"Sergio is feeling down because he is our captain and will not be present during a key period of games."

Nacho has featured 21 times for Madrid in all competitions this term and started both legs of the 4-1 aggregate win over Atalanta in the Champions League round of 16.

He leads the way for Madrid defenders to have played at least six times in LaLiga this season in terms of interceptions per 90 minutes (1.68), while only Raphael Varane (0.56) averages more blocks than Nacho (0.45).

"This may be the best period of my career," he said. "I have the confidence that I have never previously felt.

"This is a dream and I hope the confidence lasts, which is what a player always wants."

Madrid have won their last three meetings with Liverpool, most recently prevailing 3-1 in the Champions League final three years ago when Nacho was introduced as a first-half substitute.

Liverpool won their only previous two-legged European knockout tie with Madrid 5-0 on aggregate in the 2008-09 last 16, however, and Nacho is expecting a tightly-fought contest this time around.

"Since our previous meeting we have lost Cristiano [Ronaldo] and they have become champions themselves. But there is not that much difference between the sides," he said.

"We enter the tie in a very good way. We are focused on our job."

Related items

  • Mane saddened by lack of African Ballon d'Or winners Mane saddened by lack of African Ballon d'Or winners

    Sadio Mane believes an African winner of the Ballon d'Or is overdue, with both he and Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah seemingly in the frame ahead of Saturday's Champions League final.

    Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award since 2008, with Luka Modric the only player to break their hegemony in the World Cup year of 2018.

    France Football announced changes to the voting process in March, moving to align with the European club season and reducing the number of judges to make wins "much more demanding".

    George Weah was the first and only African winner of the prestigious individual prize in 1995, but Mane appears to be in contention after enjoying a fine season with Liverpool and winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.

    "It's true. If you guys say it, what can I say myself? Which is sad," Mane said of the lack of African recognition.

    "For me, it would be even more special to have another bonus, which is the Ballon d'Or, and I would be the most happy player in the world.

    "This cup, the Africa Cup of Nations, is one of the biggest for myself, it is the biggest trophy I have won in my life, and for an African player not to have won the Ballon d'Or since George Weah is sad for sure.

    "Winning the Champions League is special. I have a chance to play it again, and we will do everything we can to win it, and then we will see what happens with the Ballon d'Or."

  • Mbappe war of words wages on with UNFP blasting 'offensive, hateful' Tebas comments Mbappe war of words wages on with UNFP blasting 'offensive, hateful' Tebas comments

    Kylian Mbappe remains at the centre of a disagreement between French and Spanish footballing bodies after snubbing Real Madrid to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

    Mbappe, long linked with Madrid, announced last week he would be signing a new contract in Paris rather than joining the Champions League finalists as a free agent.

    LaLiga chief Javier Tebas swiftly responded to the news by claiming it to be "an insult to football".

    Those comments have unsurprisingly prompted replies from France, firstly from LFP president Vincent Labrune, whose letter to Tebas was reported on Thursday.

    Labrune questioned "your latest attacks against Ligue 1 and one of our clubs", believing his counterpart's behaviour to be "completely inappropriate".

    And that is a view shared by the UNFP, the French players' union, which released a statement also directed at Tebas later on Thursday.

    "We can hear and understand the disappointment of people from Madrid and their compatriots, even knowing, especially in the world of football, that you don't win every time and that it is possible to say 'no' to Real Madrid, even for a third time," said the body on its website.

    "But demonstrating to the point of incomprehension does not justify disrespecting the player, his club and all of French football in this way, unless we call into question the freedom for a footballer to sign a contract with the club of his choice?

    "The arrogance of the remarks made is shocking and there is no need here to reply to our Spanish friends that they have hardly any lessons to give to French football in terms of financial management, protectionism and equality...

    "Once again, the most enraged is Javier Tebas who, when it comes to PSG, forgets to turn his tongue in his mouth seven times before speaking.

    "And his offensive, hateful remarks, without restraint or foundation, bring shame and discredit to him, especially with regard to his position.

    "In the heart of the 70s, Jeannette sang 'Porque te vas?' ['Why must you leave?']. But Kylian Mbappe will not leave, no offence to the president of the Spanish league...

    "So 'Porque Tebas?' asks the UNFP..."

  • French Open: Tsitsipas through against "complete player" Kolar French Open: Tsitsipas through against "complete player" Kolar

    Stefanos Tsitsipas called Zdenek Kolar a "complete player", despite ultimately defeating his Czech opponent in the second round of the French Open.

    Tsitsipas was relatively untroubled in the first set, but was made to work for the win after that as he and Kolar exchanged one tie-break each before the number four seed finally secured victory with another tie-break in the fourth set, sealing it 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (9-7).

    Kolar is ranked 134th in the world but looked every bit a threat to Tsitsipas on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, hitting 57 winners and succeeding with 29 of 37 net points (78 per cent).

    Speaking at a news conference after his win, Tsitsipas explained the difficulties he experienced, saying: "He's someone I knew a little bit. It's never easy playing guys that don't really play on the ATP Tour. You don't really know what to expect. I guess they play more free.

    "It's always like this. They really have a nothing-to-lose mentality. It's a different mentality than what we have, I think, which sometimes can really be brutal on the court and create some good tennis.

    "He was really pushing a lot today, getting after every ball. His body was behind every ball. Running fast, reacting fast. Good net game. Complete player, I would say. Yeah, it wasn't easy out there to face him and come up with some good solutions."

    Tsitsipas - who hit 25 aces - displayed some of his oft-seen frustration as he struggled to stay on top of his opponent, and was asked if his hardest obstacle was Kolar or himself.

    "I guess both today," he said. "I had a lot of opportunities, break points, playing quite well, staying within the game. He was coming up with some really good ideas and I think dealt with all of the situations so maturely, not overexaggerating anything. He's an intelligent player, I would say.

    "Look, last year there were moments where it was about me and the way I deal with situations on the court, not focusing that much on who is on the other side. It's all about perspective. It's sometimes good to focus on what you are doing, but also if you're not feeling great, you have to see the other side too."

    Having rallied from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the first round, and now being made to work hard by Kolar, Tsitsipas will now face Mikael Ymer after the Swede beat 29th seed Dan Evans on Thursday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.