Sergio Ramos Put His Los Blancos Ties To One Side As He Heaped Praise On Former Barcelona Rival Lionel Messi

Ramos and Messi faced off on countless occasions in El Clasico and the duo share the record for most appearances in the fixture with 45 apiece.

One of the most memorable encounters between the Spaniard and Argentine came in April 2017, when Ramos was sent off for a lunge on Messi before the latter scored a dramatic winner with the last kick of the game.

But Ramos, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer, has nothing but respect for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s quality.

“I like to play with the best players and Messi has been one of the best in the world,” the 35-year-old told TNT Sports of his old adversary.

“I have always said that Messi will always have a role in my team.”

By joining PSG at the expiry of his Real Madrid contract, Ramos links up with former Barcelona forward Neymar, who is close friends with Messi.

Ramos insists he is also on good terms with the Brazilian, who encouraged him to join PSG, adding: “I have had a very good relationship with Ney for many years.

“Although he plays for Barcelona and I play for Real Madrid, in all these years he has lived this coming and going of leaving Barca or not leaving, we were always in contact.

“This forged a relationship that, of course, ended with messages. The message was to cheer me up for coming to Paris and of course I’m glad the people on the team encouraged me to make a decision like that.”

Ramos also surveyed the players he will be competing with for minutes at Le Parc des Princes, namely Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe.

Asked whether he would form the best centre-back duo in the world with captain Marquinhos, Ramos said: “I hope that’s the way it is.

“But I don’t want to take credit for any player, whether Marquinhos or Kimpembe. I think they’re both international players, players with a lot of experience and between all of us we can help each other.

“We’re better with each other and hopefully that we can form a solid defence, a stable defence. It is this security that a champion team needs.”

Ramos is one of the most-decorated players of his generation with 14 major honours for club and country, but he is already plotting more silverware in the French capital.

“Nowadays, Paris Saint-Germain is not just a sporting project, but a reality, as it has a very big team, with great players and that came very close to winning the Champions League,” said the four-time victor of the competition.

“So that was one of the things that caught my attention the most before making a decision.”

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