Sergio Ramos summoned his teammates for a players-only crisis meeting after Real Madrid lost 2-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday, seriously jeopardizing their chances of qualification into the knockout stages.
The seasoned Los Blancos captain, 34, used the opportunity to hone in on the importance of their final group stage game against Borussia Monchengladbach as Madrid have slipped to third place in Group B and must beat Monchengladbach in order to advance.
Madrid have successfully reached the knockout stage in all 24 of their previous group-stage campaigns, but pressure is mounting this year with their current campaign going badly awry.
Having conceded nine goals in five games – their worst defensive record for this stage in the competition, Ramos decidedly called a team meeting without the presence of manager Zinedine Zidane, with AS reporting that Ramos told his team-mates:
“We are one victory away from getting through in the Champions League, we depend on ourselves, and we have to give everything.
“This is Real Madrid, gentlemen. Together, we’ve come out of worse.”
Similarly on a parallel course in LaLiga, Madrid have also endured a nightmare run, having suffered three defeats in their 10 opening games. The former champions sit fourth in the table, seven points behind leaders Real Sociedad.