Spain's Sergio Ramos hopeful he can face Slovakia, Luxembourg

 Spain centre back Sergio Ramos is optimistic he`ll be able to play a part in this week`s Euro 2016 qualifiers away to Macedonia and Luxembourg despite being forced off in Real Madrid`s La Liga match on Sunday.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 06, 2014, 19:59 PM IST
Spain's Sergio Ramos hopeful he can face Slovakia, Luxembourg

Madrid: Spain centre back Sergio Ramos is optimistic he`ll be able to play a part in this week`s Euro 2016 qualifiers away to Slovakia and Luxembourg despite being forced off in Real Madrid`s La Liga match on Sunday.

Ramos had to be replaced at halftime during Real`s 5-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao and Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said the player had felt discomfort in a calf muscle.

"I am optimistic about the medical tests," Ramos told reporters as he arrived at Spain`s training base outside Madrid on Monday. "I want to be involved in everything with the national team."

Ramos would be first choice in central defence if fit as Spain look to follow up their 5-1 success at home to Macedonia in their opening Group C match.

If they qualify as expected from a pool that also includes Ukraine and Belarus, the 2010 world champions will be chasing a third consecutive continental title in France in two years` time.

They play Slovakia in Zilina on Thursday and take on Luxembourg in Luxembourg City on Sunday.

There are two new faces in coach Vicente del Bosque`s squad: forward Rodrigo, who is on loan at Valencia from Benfica, and Bayern Munich left back Juan Bernat.

Brazil-born Rodrigo, who played for Real Madrid and Spain at youth level and is a cousin of Bayern`s Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, said he was determined to make the most of the experience.

"We all know how difficult it is to get here," the 23-year-old told reporters.

"Spain is one of the best teams in the world, if not the best, and it takes a lot to make it into the squad.

"I am here to enjoy the football and the experience and give the best of myself."

Rodrigo is behind Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Valencia team mate Paco Alcacer in the pecking order up front and is unlikely to start either of this week`s matches.