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I never wanted to hurt Salah, Ramos says

File: Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, right, walks away after a collision with Liverpool’s Mohammad Salah, left, during the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, May 26, 2018.

London: Sergio Ramos declared that his conscience was clear over the foul on Mohammad Salah that took the Liverpool striker out of the Champions League final in May as the Real Madrid captain prepared to make his first appearance in England since that game.

Ramos, 32, scheduled to lead Spain against England at Wembley, said that he had never intended to hurt Salah who dislocated a shoulder in the incident after 25 minutes and later left the pitch in Kiev in tears. Jurgen Klopp later accused Ramos of flooring Salah “like a wrestler”.

Asked about the potential reaction to him at Wembley, Ramos said: “I’m not really concerned about that. I never wanted to hurt an opponent on the pitch, of course, so my conscience is really clear about what I did that night. I’m not going to be affected by that at all. I know the English fans will treat players as they deserve and I’m not worried in the slightest.”

Saturday’s match would be Ramos’s 157th cap for his national team, putting him within 10 of former teammate Iker Casillas’ all-time record.

Ramos said that it was the job of the current squad to restore Spain to the heights that saw them triumph in three consecutive international tournaments — the European Championships of 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup of 2010.

“In the Fifa ranking we have gone down a few positions,” he said. “Our main aim is to go back up and regain this winning philosophy.

“We need to push together and do our best to regain this enthusiasm for our football which made people fall in love with the way it is played. We have changed the way that we do play a bit but this is a different generation of players.”

— The Telegraph Group Limited, London 2018

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