Sergio Ramos’ every touch was jeered by Real Madrid fans during the opening exchanges during his side’s 2-0 victory over Valladolid — but the Bernabeu skipper said he was not aware of any booing.
Ramos was one of number of Madrid players targeted by the home fans following a difficult week in which they were beaten 5-1 by Barcelona in El Clasico and saw Julen Lopetegui sacked as manager.
Speaking after the narrow victory, Ramos claimed not to have heard whistles aimed in his direction and noted the more positive atmosphere in the stadium at the end of the game.
“I honestly did not notice that, but those of us who are here the longest must take on this role,” Ramos told BeIN Sports. “And as captain I am proud that they fill my rucksack with stones and to have to pull from the front.
“My pride is what has got me where I am today, and beating all the records I have beaten. We understand how the fans feel. We are the ones who must change this, and after the goal it seemed like the Bernabeu lifted again. With more results we will get back the confidence of the fans in a team which has won a lot.”
Gareth Bale was also jeered when he was substituted with the score at 0-0. New boss Santiago Solari defended his players, however, and said they were hurting just as much as the supporters.
“This team has great professionals with a lot of experience,” Solari said. “Obviously there are difficult moments, with 80,000 people, and you feel what they are thinking.
“But it is important for this group that have won so much to have the fans with them. The players did great today, had patience and did not lose their organisation. And in the end we got the victory.
“It is always like that in football — it is about spirit, confidence, and after the first goal the dynamic changed.”
Madrid once again struggled with both goals coming inside the final seven minutes through a Kiko Olivas own goal and a penalty by Ramos.
The introduction of 18-year-old Vinicius Junior was greeted with loud cheers by the crowd, with the Brazilian forward taking the ambitious shot which was going well wide before hitting Olivas and bouncing into the net for the opening goal.
“I told [Vinicius he was] going on to be brave and take people on; and not forget his defensive duties — but above all to go for it,” Solari said. “It is good if the fans get excited about what a player he can be.
“For us, he is one more player in the squad, with his strengths and weaknesses. He has just played a few Primera Division games.”