Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has insisted that if the Spanish side are to be successful against Manchester United in their last 16 Champions League tie on Wednesday, then they will have to keep Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie quiet.

Ramos thinks that Van Persie is better than ever following his move from Arsenal to Old Trafford, whilst acknowledging the quality Rooney possesses.

Speaking to The Guardian, Ramos said: "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.

"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."

Rooney and Van Persie have 29 league goals between them this season, and Ramos and his teammates will have to be at their best to prevent Sir Alex Ferguson's side from scoring a crucial away goal at the Santiago Bernabeu.


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