In a bizarre UEFA Champions League last-16 draw on Monday, Paris Saint-Germain have found themselves facing Real Madrid CF despite initially being drawn against Manchester United. A software glitch in the initial draw has deemed all the results invalid, and the re-draw came up with very interesting results especially for Sergio Ramos.
The Spaniard, who joined PSG just this summer, has now found himself on the brink of an emotional homecoming to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The former Real Madrid captain admitted that it is not ideal to face his former club this early in the knockout stage, but he is looking forward to visiting his former home.
"When I arrived on the plane it was [Manchester] United [who PSG got in the draw], who are a team that I liked and then it turns out that it wasn't valid," Ramos told the press after the second draw was concluded.
"I would have preferred not to have that duel [against Real Madrid] but returning to the [Estadio Santiago] Bernabeu is cause for joy. I wasn't able to bid farewell because of COVID-19," he said. At the time of his departure, the squad had not played at the Bernabeu for a year due to renovations that were taken into full swing during the pandemic.
Nevertheless, Ramos confirmed that he plans to give his best for his new club, especially after they took a gamble on him last summer. It may be remembered that Ramos made the sensational move to the Ligue 1 side after he failed to come to an agreement with Los Blancos on a contract extension.
"Now it's my turn to defend PSG and I'll do everything possible to [help them] go through. They are the team that took a gamble on me. I'm going to fight to the death for PSG," he said, as quoted by Marca.
Unfortunately, that gamble has not paid off for PSG just yet, with Ramos having been plagued with injuries all year. He has made his debut for the club, but has since been back in the treatment room.
"It has been hard, different from what I have experienced in my career. I have always avoided injuries. The important thing is to feel like a player again. [There were] many hours of darkness, loneliness, but it has helped me to overcome challenges," he said.
Ramos praised his new PSG teammates and club management for helping him adjust in the dressing room quickly, but he admitted that he struggled with the move to Paris with his family. For now, he will have to focus on his recovery. The round-of-16 Champions League matches won't be played until February, meaning he will have a lot of time to get back in shape for the highly-anticipated homecoming.