Chateauroux midfielder Luis Ramos speaks to HungarianFootball.com

 

Luis Ramos has spent nearly a quarter of his life in Hungary. After a spell at MSK Zilina and FC Nitra in Slovakia, Ramos moved to newly promoted Nyiregyhaza in NBI. After two successful seasons with Szpari, the tenacious midfielder moved to the champions Debrecen where he featured in the Champions League famously playing at Anfield in a 1-0 loss to Liverpool. Ramos went on to play nearly 100 times for Loki, either side of a loan to Kecskemeti TE, and won two league titles and three Magyar Kupa’s. The 28-year-old also featured for the Honduras Under 20’s in the World Cup in Holland in 2005, and was part of the national team squad in Honduras’s 2009 Gold Cup campaign. He kindly spoke to Tomasz Mortimer at HungarianFootball.com, after recently departing from Debrecen. [Update: Ramos has since joined LB Châteauroux in the French Ligue 2]

 

TM: Hi Luis, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions today. We’ll start from the top. How did you get into football as a youngster, and did you have any other ambitions apart from being a professional footballer?

LR: First of all, thanks for the interview, it’s a pleasure for me to be able to share with you. As a small kid in my city Yoro most of us play football and love football. With me I started to get more into it when my family moved to San Pedro Sula. I began to play around in my block, and I remember I was one of the most wanted strikers, everybody wanted to take me on their team! (Beaming smile)

Then a scout from Marathon Reserves saw me and took me there, and its there when I started my dream. Watching every single day the first team training, and because there was my Uncle Pompilio Cacho, I always said that “One day I’ll be there.” Actually when I think back, I realised I have been born to be a football player, because nothing was as important as football. Even in school I wasn’t so successful, I was more worried about the game at the weekend than the  next day’s exam. So football was the only thing that mattered to me from when I was a kid.

 

TM: You came to Europe when you were just 20 and joined MSK Zilina in Slovakia. Was that hard decision at such a young age?

LR: Actually I left my family at age of 16 the first time. I came to Dinamo Zagreb for a trial, then I stayed there for almost a year until I had a problem with racism and then came back home in 2002. So when I got the chance to play for MSK Zilina it wasn’t my first time, and I was so excited.

 

TM: Wow. What was that like, and did it put you off coming back to Europe? Did you ever have a problem with racism in Hungary?

LR: I got into frequent racist situations in the city, on the train, at restaurants. After I got hit by them I couldn’t handle any more, so I left. It made me feel disappointed but after a few times that it happened to black football players around the world, things started to change, and I saw Fifa took action against so it restored my faith.

 In Hungary, fortunately, I never encountered this sort of situation.

 

TM: How did the opportunity to Zilina come about?

LR: It came right after I played at the Under 20 World Cup in the Netherlands in 2005. They saw me there and they called me to a try out one year later in 2006.

 

TM: You spent two years in Slovakia. How do you rate your time there?

LR: It was my first experience of a European league, and a great experience for me, even though I had a lot of problems. To get into the system of playing, I had to change the way I used to play back home, because back home it is stronger and faster, but not much tactics. Here I found out about tactics, to keep lines, formations and on top of it, I got a serious injury and I had to have an operation. That’s what made my time in Slovakia so difficult. But I never gave up my dream of a little kid, that is the most important thing, that’s why I say it was a great experience.

 

TM: You joined newly promoted Nyiregyhaza, and were their standout player in the two years at the club. Did you have any issues about moving to Hungary?

LR: Not at all. Hungary and the Spari were a blessing for me in my life, and career as a player. Here I learned that I should never give up, no matter in what situation I am in. I learned to trust my qualities. This country showed me that I can still play in Europe. Nyiregyhaza and all the stuff there made me feel important to them, and that I appreciate that. Spary was the bridge that took me to a great team like Loki and be able to make dreams of a kid come true winning championships and cups.

 

TM: The champions Debrecen then signed you, and you tasted Champions League football for the first time starting at Anfield in 2009. Explain what that the Champions League was like.

It was just amazing. I have no word to describe the feeling of playing against great players that I am used to seeing on TV. I enjoyed every single moment of every game, mostly when I did a good tackle against one of their strongest players – even if it was a foul, I just loved it (Laughs).

 

TM: You won two league titles and three Magyar Kupa’s at Debrecen and also played in the Europa League and Champions League. How do you rate your time at Debrecen and what is your reason for leaving?

LR: I have won a lots of things which I wanted to. I have played everywhere in Hungary’s top division. I am a hustler type, and I think this is the time for a stronger challenge, and of course to search for a better economic situation for me and my family (Kis Alexandra and Hanga Ramos Kiss) especially now as my second baby’s on the way, Arcangel.

 

TM: What is the biggest thing you’ll miss about Hungary?

LR: Paprikas csirke, and Nagy Mama’s Toja (Laughs a lot!). I’ll miss everything. I got so used to living here. But wherever I go, I’ll have Hungary in my heart and will only have good things to say about the place, how good the people were who I met, like my girlfriend’s family.

 

TM: Your brother plays for Valencia. Do you think he can make it in La Liga?

LR: Yes he plays there. Antony has the qualities to play  in any team in La Liga that’s for sure. He is a very talented young player with all the requirements. I’m not just saying that because he’s my brother, I think it’s just a matter of time, and we could see him in a high league.

 

TM: Where will we see you next?
LR: I don’t know yet, but you will see me in a higher division for sure, and fighting as usual!

 

Big thanks to Luis Ramos for his time, and all of us at HungarianFootball.com wish him the best in the future!