Madrid: Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has insisted that the Spanish champions will have to be on top of their game in Wednesday`s Champions League round of 16 match against Manchester United if they are to keep Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney quiet.
Ramos feels that the Dutchman is in better form than ever before, while stressing that Rooney has the quality to cause Madrid problems as well.
"Van Persie is on very, very good form. We hadn`t seen him this good for years. He`s quick, strikes the ball well, he`s a constant nuisance," Sergio Ramos was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"Rooney`s different. He`s hard-work, heavy going. He enjoys the physical challenge. I prefer that, to be honest. I like that defender versus striker battle, that challenge.
"But Rooney`s mobility is difficult: you don`t always know how far to step out to pressure him. He drops deeper, or pulls wide and you wonder whether to follow.
"The communication with the midfield is vital. If he drops, there`s a point at which the centre-back can`t follow him and the responsibility passes to the midfielders. Go too far and you leave space behind."
Wednesday`s first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu is scheduled to kick off at 01:15 IST.
First Published: Monday, February 11, 2013, 16:06