Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has claimed that the reigning Champions League winners will have “extra motivation” to lift the title once again this season as the final of the competition will be played at rivals Atlético Madrid’s home stadium.
Los Blancos have lifted the Champions League in each of the last three seasons, most recently securing a 3-1 win over Liverpool in Kiev. The trophy hasn’t left Spain since the 2013/14 season, with Real Madrid – and Barcelona once – dominating the last five finals.
Many have tipped Real Madrid to lose out on their coveted trophy this season due to the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has upped sticks in an attempt to bring the Champions League title to Juventus.
But Ramos claims that the squad has been given an extra boost by learning this year’s final will be played at the Wanda Metropolitano, the new home of bitter rivals Atlético.
“This season is an extra motivation for us because the final is in our rival’s stadium and to lift the trophy here would be extra special,” Ramos said ahead of their Champions League group stage opener against AS Roma, quoted by Marca.
“They said it was impossible to win two in a row, we did it, the same thing was repeated with the third one and we also achieved it This team moves through great challenges and winning a new Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano is another way to make history.”
Real Madrid should enjoy somewhat of a routine passage into the knockout stages of the competition this season. Along with Italian side Roma, Julen Lopetegui’s side will also come up against CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzeň.
Although another Champions League title is the ultimate goal for Europe’s biggest clubs, Real Madrid can’t afford to take the foot off the gas in La Liga. A recent draw to Athletic Bilbao has already seen Barcelona claim a two point lead at the top of the table.