MADRID (Reuters) - Spain captain Sergio Ramos has spoken of his desire to become Spain’s most-capped player of all-time as he prepares to make his 150th appearance for La Roja against Germany on Friday.
The record, held by Iker Casillas, stands at 167 caps but Ramos has that number in his sights and hinted he is ready to prolong his international career beyond this year’s World Cup.
“It’s a special moment for me. In this game everything happens so fast and perhaps we don’t enjoy things as much as we should,” Ramos told a news conference on Thursday.
“I still love representing my country, which is one of the most beautiful things a footballer can do. You look back and see what you’ve achieved and that’s great, but I’m not going to rest on my laurels.
“I still want to carry on winning and achieving new goals. Hopefully I can stay here a while longer and go on to become the all-time appearance holder for Spain.”
A key member of Spain’s golden generation who won the 2010 World Cup between the Euro 2008 and 2012 titles, it is almost exactly 13 years since Ramos, 31, debuted for Spain as an 18-year-old against China.
He became the youngest Spaniard to reach 100 caps five years ago and assumed the role of national captain from Casillas in 2016. Spain face Germany in a Duesseldorf friendly as they continue their preparations for this year’s World Cup.
After enjoying constant success between 2008 and 2012, Spain’s last two major tournament appearances have brought early exits but Ramos believes they have what it takes to go all the way again under new coach Julen Lopetegui. “We believe in ourselves. We’ve won it before and we want to win it again. We’ll have to play against the best, but Spain will be one of the teams to beat,” he said.
Editing by Ed Osmond