The Blancos skipper concedes that a “decisive” figure departed the club over the summer, but their focus remains locked on chasing down more titles
Sergio Ramos concedes that Cristiano Ronaldo was “very decisive” for Real Madrid, but insists “winning is always the objective” even with a talismanic presence having departed the club.
The Blancos initially found the going tough as they opened a first campaign in nine years without a Portuguese superstar on their books.
Ronaldo’s absence has contributed to a disjointed start being made to the 2018-19 campaign, with Julen Lopetegui having already been relieved of his managerial duties and struggles in the final third being endured.
Madrid are, however, back on the trophy trail, as they prepare to chase down a third successive Club World Cup crown, and Ramos claims nothing has changed when it comes to ambition in the Spanish capital.
He told FIFA’s official website ahead of another crack at global glory in Abu Dhabi: “I don’t think you’ll see much of a difference on the pitch.
“We’ve got quite a similar team, despite losing Cristiano, who was a very decisive player for us.
“We’ll compete with the same approach that the club has always taken. Winning is always the objective.”
The Blancos skipper, who led the club to another Champions League triumph in 2017-18, added: “The Club World Cup is a reward for your success in the previous season.
“It gives you an opportunity to confirm your standing by becoming world champions, and it’s a wonderful experience.
“We’ve got some really nice memories of it because we’ve been successful on previous occasions.
“It’s a short competition and there’s no margin for error. There’s a semi-final and then a final, and we want to bring the cup back home.”
Madrid are set to open their 2018 Club World Cup campaign against Kashima Antlers at the semi-final stage on Wednesday.
They saw off the Japanese side in the final two years ago and are hoping that their considerable experience will help to deliver another major honour.
“All these things do play a role,” said Ramos.
“Real Madrid have a great history behind them, but you can’t dwell on that too much because the badge alone doesn’t win you matches.
“Each time things get a bit tighter, but there’s no doubt that experience is very important, and we have a lot of it.”