Real Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos Says Bernabeu Criticism 'Won't Drag Me Down'November 15, 2018
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has said he isn't affected by his critics and that he is "eternally grateful" for the whistles he's received from his club's supporters following a poor start to the 2018-19 campaign.
Whistles and jeers have been heard at the Santiago Bernabeu in response to Real's slump in form this term. Ramos is with the Spain squad and recently spoke to the media about why criticism pushes him to do more, as Goal shared:
It's the kind of response fans might hope to hear from their captain when things aren't going according to plan; Ramos' instinct is to use the jeers and whistles as motivation, whereas others might shy away.
Pressure at the Bernabeu has been slightly alleviated since Julen Lopetegui was sacked in October, as results have started to pick up under ex-Castilla boss Santiago Solari, who was initially appointed as interim coach.
After winning once in their final seven games under Lopetegui—ending with a 5-1 thrashing at Barcelona's hands—Los Blancos have won four in a row under Solari. And the faith in Solari appears strong after he was handed the permanent job, per sports writer Ben Hayward:
Ramos has long been regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world, but the biggest talents often attract the most attention, and the 32-year-old has never been one to shy away from the spotlight.
His attitude hasn't been dented by the jeers heard from sections of his own support. That much is clear. And if further evidence were needed that Ramos' approach will not be altered by outside pressures, his Panenka penalty in Sunday's 4-2 league win at Celta Vigo showed as much, with Eleven Sports sharing footage:
The two goals conceded at Celta brought an end to Real's three-match streak of clean sheets, another hint Ramos and his defensive corps have regained form in Madrid.
His response is one team-mates can rally behind. It's important for an under-fire team to have a public figure capable of soaking up the criticism.
He hasn't always been the archetypal leader this season, however. The veteran was scrutinised for lashing out at Sergio Reguilon, 21, in training in October, when tensions were still high in Madrid. ESPN shared footage of the incident:
While performances were lacking, something closer to normal order looks to have resumed at the Bernabeu, and Real—winners of the past three UEFA Champions League crowns—will still hope to rescue their season under Solari.
Ramos will be a critical figure in that regard, and it seems evident the criticism he's recently received has only driven him to do more for his club.