Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos has said the La Liga champions will cede the title to rivals, Barcelona if they get anything less than a win against the Catalans during Saturday’s festive Clasico.
Real’s La Liga absence to retain the Club World Cup has seen them drop to fourth in Spain and defeat at the Bernabeu during the lunchtime kick-off would see them fall a huge 14 points behind Barca going into the winter break.
Valencia’s strong resurgence this season has seen them become one of the closest challengers to Barca along with Atletico Madrid.
And although Los Blancos have a game in hand over their rivals, Ramos believes allowing the gap to reach 14 points after only 16 matches played is too much of a gap to close.
“It will be a great match,” he told Marca. “We are obliged to win now more than ever due to the situation we find ourselves in, in order to remain in the fight for La Liga.”
The centre back is hoping Real go into the game with renewed confidence after lifting the Club World Cup with a win over Brazilian club Gremio on the weekend.
“We come into it in good form after winning the Club World Cup, which always suits the team on a psychological level,” Ramos added. “We are eager to play and have been working hard this week, so hopefully we can get the three points that will allow us to stay close to those teams ahead of us.”