Real Madrid: 5 players who will be crucial in the UCL

Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images) /

Sergio Ramos

This is a no-brainer, isn’t it? Who’s more important than the captain Sergio Ramos for Real Madrid on the big nights? He might be 34 now, but he is still the heart of this Real Madrid side. He’s the leader of this team, and his presence instills a sense of confidence and fighting spirit into the team. His effectiveness, both as a captain and a defender, needs no introduction and he is one of the greatest defenders of all time. But this time, the situation he is in right now doesn’t help his case.

He has had an injury-ridden season so far, and he has missed a total of 12 games this season. It has been a stop-start season for him, and he couldn’t really grow into the season and exert his influence on the defence. In fact, his regular absence due to fitness issues has been one of the main reasons why Real Madrid have struggled in defence. But there is something else that has been bothering him this season.

He is in the last year of his contract as a Real Madrid, and reportedly the negotiations between Ramos and the president Florentino Perez for a renewal haven’t been going on well. The Spanish Media have been publishing a lot of articles on the situation, taking full advantage of it. Though these rumours haven’t really impacted his on the field performance, only Ramos will know how much of an impact has been there on his mind.

No one knows what can be the climax to this contract renewal saga, but it is beneficial for both parties to come to an understanding soon. The club can’t be losing their captain when they’re in a tough situation, and even Ramos shouldn’t have his mind somewhere else with such important fixtures coming up. Ramos should be fresh for the Atalanta fixture, both mentally and physically, and he is going to be very crucial to silence the likes of Duvan Zapata and Josep Ilicic.

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Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Karim Benzema being crucial for UCL success doesn’t mean that others aren’t important. Dani Carvajal, Casemiro, Thibaut Courtois, and every player is going to be important in their own way. No individual can win the game on his own, and it would take a collective performance from everyone in the team to take the team forward in the UCL.