Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Indigenous peoples: Fighting discrimination

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

From Turkey to Iran: (re)inventing kebab

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara: ‘Dinosaurs were the last great champions’

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Alan Turing's nephew: ‘A Shakespearean tragedy surrounded his life’

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe: Chamisa's lawyers contest election results in court

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New US sanctions on Iran: Trump ups pressure after exiting nuclear deal

Read more

IN THE PRESS

‘Space Farce’? Alternative logos for new US military branch flood social media

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zambia accused of illegal handover of Zimbabwean opposition figure

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#MyCameraIsMyWeapon campaign takes on Iran's mandatory hijab law

Read more

Ukraine a 'special place' for Real skipper Ramos

© UEFA/AFP | Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos won the Euro 2012 final with Spain in Kiev

KIEV (AFP) - 

Kiev has attracted a wave of negative publicity due to the problems faced by supporters wanting to get there for Saturday's Champions League final, but Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos insists it will always have a place in his heart.

Fans of Madrid and Liverpool have had their plans for attending the game thrown into turmoil, with some hotels cancelling previously-made bookings to put the same rooms up for sale at exorbitant rates.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed that 1,000 Real supporters had handed back their tickets because it had become too expensive to get to the Ukrainian capital.

But Ramos is returning to the city, and to the same Olympic Stadium, where he won the Euro 2012 final with Spain against Italy.

"The truth is that Ukraine is a special place for me and brings back great memories," he told media on Friday ahead of the game.

"With Spain we became European champions in this city and this country. It is always gratifying to return to such a place."

Both teams had been given an initial allocation of around 17,000 tickets for the game, with Real hoping to win the Champions League for the third year in succession.

"It is true that due to the distance and the cost a lot of Spaniards have not been able to come, but we must not disregard countries that are harder to get to," Ramos added.

Since co-hosting Euro 2012 with Poland, Ukraine has seen Russia annex the Crimean peninsula, while Russian-backed rebels seized two eastern industrial regions.

And in 2014, president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and fled to Russia after the pro-European Maidan revolution.

"Some might have been thankful if it were somewhere closer that would make it easier to get to for those who don't have the salary to pay for a ticket, a flight, or a hotel room," Ramos said.

"But if this helps Ukraine bounce back as a country that would be great."

© 2018 AFP