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Lopetegui: “I decided to keep Ramos out, his hamstrings will be grateful”

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Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui talked to the media ahead of Tuesday’s match against CSKA Moscow in the second game of the Champions League’s Group Stage. The Spanish coach talked about why he left captain Sergio Ramos out of the squad list.

“Ramos hasn’t come with us because he has played more minutes than anyone else and because I’ve made the decision. I did the same with Toni. You take into account the stats and make a decision,” said Lopetegui, suggesting that Ramos needed this rest in order to keep his legs fresh and ready.

Considering that Marcelo is also out with an injury, Lopetegui doesn’t have many options to replace Ramos. Academy player Sergio Reguilon could play in the left side of the defensive line with Nacho and Varane in the center and Carvajal on the right. However, he could also trust Vallejo to play with Varane if he thinks Reguilon isn’t ready to start, something which would give the starting spot as a left-back to Nacho.

“The psychological state is fantastic. We are very much looking forward to a Champions League match against a great opponent in a great stadium. Once you hear the Champions League anthem, you’re fully motivated. It will be difficult but we have the resources to achieve our goal,” explained Lopetegui when asked about the momentum of his players after the loss against Sevilla and the draw in the Madrid Derby.

“We have to approach each game in the best possible way and get the maximum number of points possible. We know what the atmosphere will be like, we have to be prepared for a Champions League match of the highest demand,” concluded Lopetegui.