Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez, ahead of the expansion club’s inaugural MLS match this Saturday, stepped back from the buzz and excitement that surrounds their debut at D.C. United (6 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).
The Spanish manager offered a poignant perspective on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an escalating situation that intensified Thursday morning local time.
Simply, the 37-year-old pleaded for avoiding conflict and finding peace – using his platform to get a message across.
“It is very sad to see what’s happening in the world right now,” Ramirez said in Spanish. “Those of us who have a microphone to speak to the public and cameras are responsible to say that we don’t want the lack of unity. I believe that any war in the world makes no sense and there will be innocent victims.”
Charlotte have several players from bordering nation Poland, most notably 25-year-old forward Karol Swiderski. Ramirez said the Designated Player sent him a video of his compatriots trying to escape in their car, a harrowing scene as a global response mounts – particularly via hefty economic sanctions.
Ramirez pleaded for an end to the violence, referencing how history often repeats itself.
“We want this to stop,” Ramirez said. “It is so sad for everyone because we are not learning from all the disgrace that we have created as human beings.”
The manager has a global background in the game, perhaps influencing his perspective on what’s unfolding. He was hired in July 2021 after coaching Brazilian Serie A side Internacional and was at Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle beforehand, plus has worked extensively in Greece and Qatar.
All told, Ramirez deemed it paramount to voice his perspective and not just focus on soccer-related tasks ahead.
“I’m not here to lecture anyone, but I do feel the need to express my profound sadness and disagreement with this injustice and the war,” Ramirez said. “We want to live in peace and in a society where we can be free."
Ramirez’s Charlotte FC play their inaugural home match March 5 vs. the LA Galaxy (7:30 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes), with the Bank of America Stadium crowd expected to challenge the MLS single-game regular-season attendance record.