Exclusive interview: Chelsea midfielder Ramires talks Cruzeiro, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and more
Cruzeiro will surely win the Brasileirão. Do you still follow them? What do you think of the club?
“Everyone knows my admiration for Cruzeiro. Along with Joinville, they are my favourite team in Brazil. As a "Cruzeirense" I am very happy. The fans deserve this title as much as the managers and players. I watch the games from London. Thank God I do not suffer this season. The team played very well. I hope it will continue like this. I hope to wear the new Cruzeiro jersey before ending my career.”
Are Chelsea favourites to win the Premier League this season?
“It is difficult to say. The Premier League is one of the toughest competitions in the world. I can just tell you that we have the means to win. Our team is very strong and we can win it all this season. Winning the Champions League was one of the greatest moments of my career. I think the only title that can compete with that is the World Cup in Brazil.”
What has changed with the arrival of José Mourinho? How does he differ from other coaches?
“Mourinho is a very decent coach. He is doing an excellent job. He manages to motivate his players and offers a chance to everyone. I have evolved since his arrival. I hope to continue to help and doing what he expects of me.”
What are your goals for this season?
“My goals are never personal, but collective. I want to continue to play football and thelp my team win titles. Collective success makes me stronger individually.”
You are considered a versatile player. What is your favourite position on the field?
“My original position is defensive midfield, but I am always able to adapt to different positions. I am always available to help in any position.”
What do you think of Real Madrid’s interest in you? Is it your dream to play in Spain?
“I see the interest of Real Madrid as a recognition of my good work in Europe, but I'm under contract with Chelsea and it would be unethical for me to comment. For the moment, these are only rumours. I am very happy here. I am respected and part of the club's history. If I leave, Chelsea would have to make the decision. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I have realised my dream here.”
What do you think of the Diego Costa case? Has the topic been raised amongst the Seleção?
“No, nothing has been said. If it was me, I would never hesitate to choose Brazil. I love the national team and I see nothing that could be more important. But everyone is free to make choices. It is already part of the past.”
Ligue 1 is following the Premier League model with numerous foreign investors. What do you think of the league?
“I am following the development of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco. The question is whether it will continue or if investors leave if the results do not come. I hope not, for the good of football. This is a strong league that can open many doors, including to Brazilian players.”
Can Paris Saint-Germain win the Champions League this season?
“Yes, because they are a great team. I think there are a lot of candidates this year. Because it is a knockout competition, it is difficult to have a favourite. Anything can happen. The year Chelsea won, nobody saw us as a favourite. This is proof that all clubs should be respected.”
Lucas Moura was ignored by head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for Brazil’s next two friendlies. Does he deserves to go to the World Cup?
“It is not my role to comment on the coach’s choices. I think everyone should do their best to earn a place.”
How important is Thiago Silva to Brazil?
“Thiago has great sporting and human qualities. This is someone who commands respect, like all good captains, but he is also a very humble man who is popular with everyone.”
What will be Brazil’s biggest adversary at the World Cup?
“I think it would be the responsibility of playing a World Cup in our country. For most players, this will be their first World Cup. For me, if I am in the list, the second. I will try to help the younger ones with my experience. Fortunately, we can count on Felipão [Luiz Felipe Scolari], who has already won the competition. He will prepare us psychologically for this battle.”