Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has silenced rumours of a rift between himself and defender Sergio Ramos ahead of their Champion’s League group game against Ajax, which he admits will be a challenging encounter.
The 49-year-old has spoken of his respect for the Dutch club and believes that his team face a far sterner test in comparison to the last time the two sides clashed.
“Ajax have different players than in previous years, but the philosophy is still the same,” explained the Madrid boss, speaking at a press conference.
“They have improved as a team compared to the last couple of years and that’s why I think we are going to have a more difficult match than last season.
“The team has trained for another year under Frank [De Boer]. The players which left have been replaced with very good players as well.
“Ajax played very well in Dortmund and with a bit more luck they could have won or drawn that game. That’s why I think Ajax can compete with the teams in this tough group.”
When questioned on relations between himself and Sergio Ramos, Mourinho spoke dismissively of claims that a disagreement had occurred and also explained the reasoning by Mesut Ozil’s absence from recent starting line-ups.
“There is no problem between me and Sergio Ramos. Our relationship is good, just like with the other players. If there is a problem we will discuss it internally and we will not speak about this in the media.
“Ozil could play more, but that’s not because of his quality. Ozil doesn’t always play because we have other players that are good,” he said.