New Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos admits he is looking forward to the challenge of reviving the club’s season.
The 54-year-old former Sevilla and Tottenham boss has been appointed to replace Bernd Schuster, who was fired on Tuesday after Madrid’s poor start to the season.
“I would like to thank the board for their confidence – I face this job with excitement,” said Ramos, who was a huge success in his previous spell in Spain, leading Sevilla to five trophies in just two years including back-to-back UEFA Cup titles.
“I hope I don’t let anyone down and that I achieve the successes that this club has set for this season.
“Real Madrid are a club at which any professional dreams of working. Once you have the chance, it is practically impossible to say no. This is what happened.
“I’ve spent 20 years as a coach and thank God I’ve done quite well. I’m happy with the way my career has gone, but to arrive at a club like Real Madrid, I don’t think there is anything higher.”
There had been speculation that Schuster was sacked after saying it was “impossible” to win the “clasico” derby on Saturday – a claim denied by the club’s sporting director Predrag Mijatovic.
“We can’t pinpoint one specific moment that made us reach this decision,” said Mijatovic.
“Making a decision like this isn’t easy and we had to make a very deep analysis of the situation of the team.
“Schuster’s declaration the other day hasn’t had any influence on our decision.
Ramos, meanwhile, was quick to give a different view on this weekend’s clash with Barcelona.
“I think Real Madrid are a team who have to face any game with the highest hopes and desire to win it, as we are talking about one of the world’s great teams,” said Ramos.
“It is true that Barcelona are playing excellent football but Real Madrid have the character and prestige to go for a victory in any stadium in the world.”