Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says he wants Zinedine Zidane to remain in charge of the club for “many more years” ahead of Sunday’s crucial El Clasico encounter.
Ramos has gone from playing with Zidane at Madrid in his first and the Frenchman's final season at the Bernabeu to playing for him, and hopes the former midfielder continues his role at Santiago Bernabeu for several years to come.
Zidane made a sensational return to the club this time last year, after stepping down the previous summer on the back of three successive Champions League titles.
His current contract ties him to the Spanish outfit until 2022, and his captain hopes that deal will be extended long into the future.
“Zidane is a fantastic coach,” Ramos said when questioned about his boss. “Not just because of the statistics and all the trophies we’ve won with him, but also because he was here for many years as a player.
“He works the dressing room very well. He’s privileged in that sense; he lived it as a player, and now he manages it as a coach. Not everyone can do it.”
Ramos became the club's record appearance-maker in Clasico matches when Madrid met Barcelona at Camp Nou in December, with the two sides set to play the reverse fixture this weekend.
Speaking on whether or not his attitude to the rivalry has changed over the years, Ramos added: “I don’t know whether maybe when you’re young you don’t give things so much thought.
“As the years go on, you become more experienced, but you also think about things like El Clasico more than you used to.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m just as excited about these games as I was years ago. I don’t play as if it were my last Clasico, I play as if it were my first, with the same ambition and desire to win.
“As we all know, it’s not a normal game. Even though it’s three points just like every other game, beating Barcelona is huge and a really big emotional boost for us. It’s the same for them.”
Madrid can overtake Barca into top spot in La Liga with a victory on Sunday, and Ramos has set his sights on doing just that in a bid to win their first league title since the 2016/17 campaign.
“Our objective is to win, keep winning and not get tired of winning," added the defender. "That’s the Real Madrid philosophy.
“Given that we’ve already won a title this season, the Spanish Super Cup, we want to finish the campaign by winning some more.
“La Liga and the Champions League, we know it’s very difficult but we’re in the right frame of mind. In football anything can happen, but we have to fight until the end, keep up the final push and keep working as people expect us to.
“We’ll do all we can and hopefully we can to end the season lifting the trophies. Ultimately that’s what makes the difference in football.”