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Champions League: Ramos should travel with PSG to face Real Madrid, says Pochettino

Paris Saint-Germain will be travelling to Spain on Wednesday to face Real Madrid in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 clash. Manager Mauricio Pochettino wants all of his best players with him, and has admitted that he wants Sergio Ramos to travel with the team even if the veteran defender is still recovering from injury.

In a press conference on Friday, Pochettino meant to talk about the upcoming Ligue 1 match against Nice. However, it could not be helped that the members of the media were asking questions beyond Saturday’s domestic fixture. The Champions League clash is highly-anticipated, and Pochettino knows that there are a lot of questions ahead of Wednesday’s game.

While Ramos will likely be unable to face his former club, the PSG manager said, “It’s clear that a player like Sergio can bring experience for this kind of Champions League game, while he was Real Madrid captain and played there for 17 years, so he can also give good advice to his teammates,.”

“It would be good for him to be there, whether or not he can play,” added Pochettino, as quoted by Marca. “This will be a moment to all be together and to all contribute in whatever way possible. The finest details could be key in achieving a positive result.”

PSG will be heading to the Santiago Bernabeu with a 1-0 advantage thanks to a stoppage time goal by Kylian Mbappe in the first leg. It will be a unique experience for Mbappe as well, considering the fact that he has been vocal about wanting to join Los Blancos in the future. For now, he is a PSG player, and appears determined to help his current club defeat what could be his future employers.

The situation is the complete opposite for Ramos, who joined PSG last summer after 17 prolific seasons with Los Blancos. He left as the captain, and will get his first opportunity to visit the new Santiago Bernabeu since leaving last year.

There are a lot of storylines in play, with former Real Madrid stars like Angel di Maria and Keylor Navas also returning in PSG shirts. Former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi will also be reuniting with a lot of familiar faces.

Pochettino uunderstands the importance of the match, but wants to focus on getting past Nice in Ligue 1. PSG have a comfortable lead at the top of the table, but Nice are in third place albeit 16 points behind. A victory for the Parisians will surely help cement their chances in the league, and will help prepare them for the Champions League fixture.

“It would be a mistake to approach this Nice game thinking about Real Madrid. The best way to prepare for the Champions League match is to be at our best tomorrow,” he said.


Sergio Ramos slams in his first Paris Saint-Germain goal AFP / FRANCK FIFE
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