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The defender admits that the Spanish giants have worked hard to put their differences aside in the past two years, explaining that he gets on perfectly well with Gerard Pique

Sergio Ramos feels that there was "excessive" tension between Real Madrid and Barcelona players in the past but insists that they have put it behind them.

The Spanish giants have locked horns in the semi-finals of the Champions League and the final of the Copa del Rey in addition to their Primera Division campaigns in a particularly divisive 2010-11 season, with five red cards shown across the five heated fixtures.

Ramos admits that there was significant bitterness between the players at the time but has stressed that they moved on from the issue, a fact which he believes is underlined by his friendship with Gerard Pique.

"The tension behind that series of games we played against them in the Champions League and Copa was excessive but we found a solution and it's behind us now. We musn't live in the past now but look to the future," Ramos told FourFourTwo.

"It was said I had a problem with Pique and that wasn't so. We've since spent time together and I've found he's a great guy, with a big heart."

Ramos went on to discuss the combative characteristics which define his style both on and off the pitch and pointed to a notable penalty during the Euro 2012 semi-final with Portugal as proof of his determination to succeed.

"I'm a person who always says things clearly," he opined. "I always tell people what I think. I have something of the bullfighter in me. My family is passionate about bullfighting and I considered being a bullfighter but I opted for football instead.

"One example [of this characteristic] was the penalty against Portugal, which happened after the penalty I missed against Bayern Munich [in the Champions League].

"That was heavily criticised and had a wide impact. My family suffered, especially my mother and my sister, so I wanted to make it up to them through this Panenka penalty.

"Before the game, I spoke to [Spain coach Vicente] Del Bosque and asked: 'If there is a penalty, can I chip it?' He laughed, saying that, when the time came, I wouldn't have the nerve. Well, the opportunity came and I decided to do it and so it happened."