Spain captain Sergio Ramo says that the pain of exiting the World Cup in Russia will be his motivation to stay with the team so he can head to Qatar in 2020 for the next World Cup.
“I am not in favour of many changes,” Ramos said (h/t ESPN FC).
“This is not the end of a cycle, Pique and Iniesta are players who have been very important, but other people are coming up strongly from below. This team has a very good youth system, players with a lot of personality. I would like to keep going many more years. I am leaving this World Cup with a terrible pain. I feel obliged to reach Qatar with a white beard.”
There will be some changes forthcoming, however, as Fernando Hierro is not expected to continue as coach ahead of the UEFA Nations League.
“We are proud of the coach,” Ramos said. “It fell to him in a delicate moment, and we should be thankful that he had the courage to take it on. He did very well, despite the results. I’ve always thought that in football the coaches end up being ex-players. In this sense we were very comfortable with Fernando. It does not depend on us, but we would not mind if Hierro continued. As captain I just want the best for Spanish football.”
Many have criticized how Spain played against Russia, with over 1,000 passes being made bu little scoring chances created, showing the ugliness of a failed possession-based approach, one that has proven successful for Spain in the past.
“In the end each person has their own different opinion.” Ramos said. “We have had this philosophy for many years, and comparisons with our best national team of all time are difficult. Football is about results, and they mark everything. I would have taken winning the group, playing as we played.”