Christian Ramirez opens up on personal abuse and how it fuels him as Aberdeen forward discusses 'culture shock'

Christian Ramirez hit his eighth goal in 17 games for Aberdeen as they defeated Hibs 1-0 at Pittodrie on Saturday – and revealed how the personal abuse that he and his wife have been subjected to helps spur him on.

Christian Ramirez applauds the Aberdeen fans at full time
Christian Ramirez applauds the Aberdeen fans at full time

The American forward was relieved to fire the Dons to victory and end a run of five straight defeats and ten games without a win and while he insists he tries not to pay attention to any messages, it has helped “fuel” him.

"It feels good to win. We knew to get out of the situation we have been in that it might not be the prettiest of performances. You need to dig deep down to get a result to get that confidence back to where it belongs,” the 30-year-old said after Saturday’s long-awaited win.

“We were building on stretches of games we let get away from ourselves. There were little lulls that cost us but on Saturday you saw our concentration for the complete 90 minutes.

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass celebrates with Ramirez at full time

"Even when it wasn’t the prettiest we focused on the small details.”

Ramirez appeared to make a point of going straight to manager Stephen Glass to celebrate his goal and the forward paid tribute to the Dons boss following a tough few weeks in the hotseat.

“The staff have given me so much confidence and have revitalised my career during my time here,” he continued.

"They have given me confidence and I have so much respect for them and so much to repay them for bringing me over here and the belief they have shown in me.

Ramirez celebrates with his family at full time

“[The celebration] was me sending a message to [Glass] but he doesn’t need to see that because he knows he has our support.”

Asked if he or the other Aberdeen players had paid much attention to the noise surrounding the club during their rough patch, Ramirez took aim at what he said were “untrue” stories.

“You pick up the good things but there are some stories that are out there that are not true.

"We control what we can and that is what is said in our dressing room. We got the win and we stick together.

"I have had plenty of criticism of myself over the past couple of weeks. I just continue to be myself and that will continue to get us where we want to be.”

Pressed on the nature of the criticism he has received, Ramirez expanded: “I’ve had messages and my wife has had messages. It is stuff that comes with it.

“It was stuff like, maybe I’m not fast enough, don’t score enough goals, or take enough chances. It is what it is.

"When the team is not winning then stories are created,” he added.

The Californian striker continued: “You can use it as fuel. I could lie and say I didn’t fully use it, but I am comfortable in my own skin.

“I know what type of player I am. I’m not going to go like Ryan Hedges and run at that pace,” he laughed.

"I do what I do and I am just glad we have won. That is now eight for the season and I am pleased with the way things are going. I just wish we had picked up a couple more wins but it will make things different at the end of it.”

Ramirez had spent his entire career prior to joining Aberdeen in the United States, turning out for the likes of Orange County Blue Star and Charlotte Eagles before joining Minnesota United and staying with them as they joined Major League Soccer. Spells followed at Los Angeles FC and Houston Dynamo before crossing the pond in the summer of 2021.

Wife Valerie and his two young children Zara and Nova joined him and the player is only too aware of the sacrifice his family have made, and he made sure to celebrate with them at full time.

“It has been a culture shock, although it has been fun,” he reasoned. “It has been harder on my wife and family through the time that she has been alone.

“She has left everything and so that is an experience for the family and myself. That is the tough part and that’s the adjustment that people don’t see.

“We have been trying to get through it and it will be good to get to the holidays when the families will get over and we can spend some time together.

“We are enjoying it and feel really blessed to be here.”

Ramirez also paid tribute to strike partner Marley Watkins, who started his first game for the Dons since September 11.

“Since the Motherwell game I have been wanting him to get fit and to stay healthy,” Ramirez said.

“I know what he brings in and there were times we misunderstood each other [against Hibs] because we haven’t played a lot together, just a few days training this week.

“Marley is class and you get used to playing with a guy like that. You saw at the goal that I was able to drop back into the cut-back area because he made the run and the defence went with him. A lot of the credit for the goal goes to him."

Calvin Ramsay, who orchestrated the goal before having to go off injured, was also singled out for praise by Ramirez.

“He has missed the cut-back a couple of times in recent weeks. Allan [Russell] and the coaching staff have pulled him aside and showed some videos of that movement.

"It was great for him to pick up on that and deliver in a game.”

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