Sergio Ramos says Real Madrid paid for allowing their intensity to drop when being beaten 2-1 at Girona on Sunday but remains confident they can still make up the eight-point gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to win the title.
Newly promoted Girona scored two goals in four minutes early in the second half at Montilivi on Sunday afternoon, turning around a game which Zinedine Zidane’s side had led 1-0 at half-time.
The defending La Liga champions have also drawn at home to Levante and Valencia and been beaten by Real Betis at the Bernabeu, during a start to the season that has seen them fall well behind a Barca team that has won nine and drawn one of their first 10 matches.
Speaking on “El Transistor,” Madrid captain Ramos said Girona had succeeded in making Madrid feel “uncomfortable” but also had good fortune too in Portu’s offside winner.
“In some moments maybe our intensity has dropped and the other team has been able to take advantage,” Ramos said. “Then they had that bit of luck too which ended up in a goal. That is not to take anything away from Girona, who set up very well and played a good game. They made us feel uncomfortable in some phases of the game. But we must turn the page, and not keep feeling sorry for ourselves.”
Only three times in La Liga history has a team made up an eight-point deficit to take the title. Madrid’s best comeback came in 2002-03, when they reeled in a seven-point gap to overtake Real Sociedad.
However, Madrid still have both league games against Barcelona to come, and Ramos said the deficit is not insurmountable.
“It is not the first Liga in which eight points have been made up,” he said. “So we must learn from these mistakes and slips so that they do not happen again, and try to get as many points as possible. With this gap now, Barcelona are not dropping many points, and that could cost you the title.”
Ramos was pulled out of position for Christian Stuani’s equaliser on Sunday and was also unable to stop the winning goal.
Asked if he took any personal blame for what happened, he said: “I’ve always said that nobody is guilty here.
“When you win, you win together, and when you lose, the same. There is no need to point fingers at anyone, just the opposite. We can all always give a little more.
“Maybe in some moments [against Girona] our intensity dropped, but I also tell you that in the first half, after we scored, if we had taken the three or four chances we created you would have seen a different game.”
During the wide-ranging interview, Ramos also suggested he could see himself as a future Spanish FA president, called for the adding of lyrics to the Spanish national anthem, and said that he felt personally hurt by the image of Spain shown around the world in recent weeks amid tension over a push toward Catalan independence.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan