Defeat in the Champions League last 16 first leg against Manchester City was a blow for Real Madrid, but even worse was the dismissal of captain Sergio Ramos.
Even though he can’t feature in the return fixture, Ramos wants to maintain his role as the leader of the team and has done all he can to ensure that he will travel with the group to Manchester.
Ramos will join the squad despite the fact that he won’t be available for selection and will look to motivate and inspire his teammates to a comeback.
The captain is adamant that his team can turn around what he believes to be an unfair defeat in which City simply punished two lapses in Real Madrid concentration.
Nearly six months have passed since that game and Pep Guardiola’s team have recovered from their worst form, which left them 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the Premier League.
Real Madrid have done the opposite, turning around a deficit to overtake Barcelona and win LaLiga Santander thanks to 10 consecutive victories after the restart.
Crucial to that run was Ramos, but now he will play a decisive role off the field, rather than on it, if he is to help his team into the next round of the Champions League.