Lionel Messi admits "weird" dressing room feeling as Sergio Ramos set for PSG debut

By Freddie Keighley

Lionel Messi confesses it was "weird" sharing a dressing room with Sergio Ramos after countless hostile encounters on opposing teams in El Clasico.

But the Argentine superstar, 34, heaped praise on his "spectacular" teammate as he prepares to make his first Paris Saint-Germain appearance.

Ramos, 35, moved to the Parc des Princes on a free transfer this summer following the expiry of his Real Madrid contract and he was soon joined in the French capital by Messi after he left Barcelona.

The pair shared many fiercely-competitive clashes in La Liga and Spain legend Ramos memorably received a straight red card for a tackle on Messi in 2017.

However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner insisted their battles are a thing of the past as he opened up on the "respect" they have for each other.

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Asked what it is like sharing a dressing room with Ramos, Messi told Marca : "Now nothing, but at first it was weird after so many years of being rivals, being the two captains of Barcelona and Madrid, after so many Clasicos played, so many fights we had on the pitch.

"But all that is in the past and we have always respected each other a lot, no matter how much we have been rivals in those Clasicos. Having him as a teammate today is spectacular."

Ramos, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010, is expected to make his first appearance for PSG as they travel to Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

He has been sidelined for many months with a calf injury and Messi is pleased he has returned ahead of the busy festive period.

"Little by little he is getting back up to speed and hopefully he will play as quickly as possible because he is going to be a fundamental player in order to fight for our targets," Messi said of Ramos.

Quizzed on whether Ramos is how he imagined him, Messi added: "I already knew him. It is true that we had not spoken at length, but we had crossed paths in La Liga for many years and we had spoken more than once.

"I already had an idea of what he was like. I had former teammates who had been with him in the Spanish national team so I already knew him.

"And now, having had more time together in Paris, I have seen that he is a great person."

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