Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has compared winning the Champions League to making love for the first time.
Ramos headed home an injury-time equaliser in the 2014 final against Atletico Madrid, with Real going on to win the match 4-1 in extra-time. Two years on, the two teams meet again in Milan, with Ramos now captaining the side. However, he concedes, that whatever happens on Saturday, it is unlikely to be as memorable an occasion as 2014.
“The first time is like when you make love: you always remember it … but then it’s true that you can improve because to start with you’re a disaster,” Ramos joked.
“The first time always has a special taste. I was the protagonist for a great goal,” he said. “But I am optimistic, very ambitious, and I prefer to keep turning the page and adding [trophies] to my CV. Hopefully I will have the chance to lift the trophy.”
While that match holds happy memories for him and his Real team-mates, Ramos admits that the pain of that defeat could act as a motivation for Saturday’s opponents Atletico.
“They’re entitled to look at the game any way they like but there’s no sense of revenge for us,” Ramos said. “There have not been many changes in the team. The players are the same as they were then and we have the chance now to play a second final in two years. To have been able to play my part with that goal is lovely.
“It’s always special to play against Atlético or Barcelona – and all the more so in a final.
“We know our opponents well; we know exactly what kind of team we will be facing. If there’s any team around that has not changed its philosophy that’s Atlético. We know that it will be a very competitive, very hard game against a team that plays with a lot of intensity, a lot of character. We’ll see what happens.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, has said he expects to be fit for the final, despite pulling out of training following a clash with the goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
Ronaldo was withdrawn at half-time in Madrid’s final league game of the season and missed the Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City at the Etihad.
However, Real manager, Zinedine Zidane, said the player would be fully fit for the final and Ronaldo insists he will be fine for Saturday.
“It was just a scare,” he said. “I got a dead leg but I will be fine in two days. I think I will arrive at this game in better shape [than two years ago],” he said. “I have been getting better. I had a small problem, which is normal after being the player who played the most minutes. This is the season I have played the most but, apart from this small problem in training [today], I am at my best level.”