Sergio Ramos revealed he enjoys the responsibility of taking crucial penalties for Real Madrid, although he claimed he would be playing tennis if he was looking for individual recognition.
For the second time in four days, Ramos grabbed the only goal from 12 yards for Madrid, this time to secure a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday.
A seventh straight victory moved the LaLiga leaders seven points clear, at least until Barcelona take on Villarreal later in the day.
Ramos is focused on ensuring Madrid keep winning, having been flawless since the season’s restart – a period in which the captain has now scored five times, including from the spot against Getafe on Thursday.
“All I think about is the three points,” he said. “But those moments of doubt [when taking penalties], that’s when I feel most comfortable.
“I just wanted to take that responsibility. What matters most is the overall result. The only thing that matters is that it helps the team win.”
On his personal exploits, Ramos added: “The individual recognition is second for me.
“What matters is that the team get the objectives we want and manage to get the three points in every game we play. Luckily, for the moment, we are getting those results.
“I would have probably played tennis if I were more interested in individual recognition. This is a very beautiful sport, a team sport, and it’s very nice to win as a team.”
Having also overcome Getafe this week and with relatively kinder fixtures to come, Ramos acknowledged the magnitude of Madrid’s latest victory.
“It was very important for us. We knew today was going to be one of the most important games of those that are left for us,” he said. “It’s a very difficult game always, travelling away to Bilbao.
“We just organised it like that: we had 11 finals left coming back from lockdown and we just had to go game by game, getting the three points.
“I believe today, again, the team proved that against a team like this, you always have to be at it. We’re very happy with the three points. That was our objective.
“It’s three very important points to put more pressure on Barcelona, who play later today.
“We just want that league title. From the first minute, you could see how we wanted to go for that game and get the result today.
“We knew we weren’t going to win 3-0 or 4-0 today – it was going to be a very tough game – but it was important.”