Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos took the floor at the end of the Christmas dinner the squad enjoyed on Wednesday.
“Lads, we’ve got to always give our all. Hala Madrid!” This message wrapped up a casual get-together between the ‘Los Blancos’ squad – one which, as has become traditional, was not attended by the coach or his colleagues. After all, that is what today’s formal Christmas lunch at the Bernabéu is for, with the football and basketball teams joined by their respective staff and Florentino Pérez sitting on ceremony at the head of the presidential table.
The full squad was there, however, with the exception of Toni Kroos, who had to miss out because of the flu, and Álvaro Arbeloa, who had tickets to the premiere of the latest Star Wars film.
Besides Ramos’s speech, there wasn’t too much talk of football, although the players know as well as anyone else that they cannot put in another performance like the one in the first half at El Madrigal. The atmosphere was laid-back, as befitting the situation and setting, albeit with the skipper’s pep talk providing a serious footnote.