Spain will fight to bitter end for Del Bosque - Ramos

AFP, Wednesday 3 Sep 2014

Sergio Ramos
Spain's midfielder Sergio Ramos (Photo: Reuters)

Spain's dethroned world champions will give their all for coach Vicente del Bosque despite the fiasco of their title defence at the World Cup said veteran defender Sergio Ramos on Wednesday.

"The manager has decided to stay on, we will fight to the bitter end for him because he's our boss," said 28-year-old Ramos, who has won 120 caps for his country.

The Real Madrid star was speaking on the eve of Spain's Euro 2016 qualifier warm-up friendly against France at the Stade de France.

He added: "There's been a general change, some players have decided not to return, and we have to respect him (del Bosque) after so many years with the national team."

Ramos was alluding to the international retirements of Xavi and Xabi Alonso after Spain's humbling first round elimination in Brazil.

The midfielders were two of the key architects of Spain's golden era when they claimed the European championships in 2008, when they were coached by the late Luis Aragones, and 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.

On Spain's post 2014 World Cup plight Ramos said: "In football you can't live in the past. We have to forget the good and the bad times.

"We didn't have a good experience in Brazil, but now we have a new squad, we are looking to the future with a lot of hunger and hope of recording the results that we've had in the past.

"It's a fresh cycle, with lots of new players who are all intent on getting a good start.

"Even if this game is a friendly, we have to treat it as a competitive game, and pass on this hunger and ambition to the new players."

Del Bosque, who guided Spain to their World Cup and Euro 2012 triumphs, has called up eight players that were not involved in the Brazil debacle.

"We are setting out on a new stage," said del Bosque.

"Before, we had to handle success, that wasn't easy, now we have to handle failure, or at least a time when we didn't achieve our aims," he added.

Spain take their first step to reaching the Euro 2016 finals against Macedonia in Valencia on Monday.

"We're a little bit in the dark returning to competition, and against such a great rival as France tomorrow we have to give a good account of ourselves."

Del Bosque suggested that given their differing fortunes at the World Cup, the home side were in contrast to their recent meetings, favourites on Wednesday.

"France had a good World Cup, losing to Germany who weren't the better side, far from it, in the quarter-finals," said 63-year-old del Bosque.

"Spain were knocked out in the first round. So yes, the roles have been reversed."

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