Xaxi extols Ramos whose own goal gave Barca victory on Friday
Barcelona Manager Xavi Hernandez was highly complementary of Sevilla veteran and Real Madrid icon Sergio Ramos after the 37-year-old came up against his Blaugrana side. Ramos, as is often the case against Barcelona, was one of the main characters.
Thwarting Barcelona on a number of occasions, Ramos defended well all night, but accidentally bundled Lamine Yamal’s header into his own goal with 15 minutes to go. It ended up being the winner. Just seven years earlier, Ramos had led Lamine Yamal out as a mascot at Camp Nou.
"We weren't good against Celta, neither in terms of play nor intensity."
"I'm satisfied today. I thought we took a step forward in terms of playing against a Champions League-level side. Very content, we played well."
After the match, Xavi was asked about Ramos, whom he shared a dressing room with on Spain duty for a number of years.
“I haven’t seen him and I haven’t spoken to him. He is a spectacular defender, he deserves a lot of credit to be at the top level at his age. He is a professional.”
“The goal is a shame for him, but it benefits us. That’s life, football is life.”
“He deserves a lot of credit to be at this level at his age.”
He was also asked if the atmosphere, the constant whistles from the partisan crowd, and the prospect of facing ‘his eternal rival’ in Barcelona, might have gotten the better of him.
“Quite the opposite. Sergio thrives in these environments, he definitely grows. In the goal, he goes to defend, like any good defender, and it rebounds and goes in. It is a misfortune for Sevilla and for him. An unfortunate goal. He played a great game.”
Xavi: "Lamine and Ramos in 2015? Football is crazy, the circumstances of life. It's unexpected, Ramos is still playing and has been good."
Ramos made 5 clearances during the match, 2 interceptions, and one block, also completing 21 of his 24 passes
and 3 of his 4 long balls. His quality with the ball at his feet worked well for Sevilla during the match, and Los Nervionenses looked as solid as they have done for some time.