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Whole week leading up to El Clasico is different: Ramos
Madrid, Feb 28 - Real Madrid meet Barcelona in a fixture that could decide which way the Spanish league title goes this season. Barcelona lead Real Madrid by two points at the top of the La Liga table with 13 games in hand.
The fixture by itself is considered one of the biggest matches in football and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said that the atmosphere in the week before the match itself is different from others.
"The whole week before - unless there's a Champions League or Cup game in between - is different," said Ramos. "The media are really active, not necessarily putting pressure on you but definitely generating a lot of coverage. That's what makes it such a big game, what makes our league and our players so important. It's a great thing to experience. I try to step back a bit, stay focused and prepare the same way and go out onto the pitch as motivated as ever. But it's true that in those games your emotions are driven by what you feel on the inside. It's hard to explain but hopefully I'll continue to experience those feelings for many years to come."
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen said that he tries to treat the match like any other so as to stay focussed. "Yes, I try to work at the same rhythm," he said. "I try to be always in the best circumstances, therefore I also need my goalkeeper coaches, my teammates to be at 100% and I try to always be professional and on 100%, but for me it doesn't change if it's a game against somebody else or Real Madrid or whoever, as for me, the work doesn't change. And, well, as I said before, sometimes, of course, even if you don't notice, there are small differences in the preparation which can make a big difference and I try to make it kind of a routine, always being in the same shape, always being professional. It doesn't matter who we face, and I think, until now, it's working quite well."
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