Spain determined to silence doubters
Ramos believes La Roja can secure a historic treble in France
After several years of dominating world football, Spain were brought crashing back down to earth at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where they were thumped 5-1 by Holland and dumped out at the group stages.
Despite winning nine of 10 games in qualifying they failed to set the world alight as they booked their place in France this summer.
However, Spanish sides have dominated club football this year with Real Madrid winning the Champions League and Seville the Europa League.
Sergio Ramos played an instrumental role in leading Madrid to their 11th European crown, and the experienced defender believes Spain can win an historic treble. “We’re ambitious certainly,” said Ramos. “We want to win it and we’ll try but we know there’s a lot of competition. “There are more teams than ever and many top-quality squads.” The centre back named France, Germany and England as potential rivals for the title and is well aware that sides have seemingly found the formula to keep Spain in check. But Ramos believes this Spain squad can adopt a different style and excel over the next month. “It’s clear that all the squads are extra motivated when they face us,” added Ramos. “We are the reigning champions of Europe and we’ve also been world champions.” We have a good history and everyone wants to beat us. “Our style of play is very characteristic and everyone has been studying it thoroughly so we have to reinvent ourselves to carry on fighting to achieve the highest levels of success.”
First up for Spain is a tough test today against the Czech Republic (5pm UAE time) before equally tricky ties against Turkey and Croatia.
“We have to go step by step without conceding any goals,” he said.
“You can expect a squad who are going to give everything on the pitch to make our country proud.”
Meanwhile, right-back Hector Bellerin believes his Arsenal teammates Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky could mean it is a tough opening game for Spain.
“Rosicky orchestrates the midfield and he’s a great player who’s quick on the ball and really clever, so we know we have to be very wary of him,” said Bellerin. “Cech makes you feel safer with him behind you. He’ll be important for the Czechs. Perhaps he’s the best goalie I’ve ever seen.”