Sergio Ramos
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Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos
FC RB Salzburg versus Real Madrid (Testspiel, 7. August 2019) 09.jpg
Ramos playing for Real Madrid in 2019
Personal information
Full name Sergio Ramos García[1]
Date of birth (1986-03-30) 30 March 1986 (age 33)[2]
Place of birth Camas, Spain
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)[3]
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 4
Youth career
1996-2003 Sevilla
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003-2004 Sevilla B 26 (2)
2004-2005 Sevilla 39 (2)
2005- Real Madrid 442 (64)
National team?
2002 Spain U17 1 (0)
2004 Spain U19 6 (0)
2004 Spain U21 6 (0)
2005- Spain 170 (21)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:53, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
? National team caps and goals correct as of 21:37, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Sergio Ramos García (Spanish pronunciation: ['se?xjo 'ramoz ?a?'?i.a];[A] born 30 March 1986) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for and captains both Real Madrid and the Spanish national team as a centre back. He has also played as a right back.[4] Ramos is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, and has also received praise for his passing and goalscoring capabilities.[5][6][7]

After emerging through Sevilla's youth academy and spending two seasons with the senior side, Ramos moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2005.[4] Since then, he has gone on to become a mainstay for Real Madrid, and has won 21 major honours, including four La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, becoming one of La Liga's top goalscorers from a defensive position. He played a crucial part in the build-up to all four UEFA Champions League wins, being named in the competition Squad of the Season each time. He also notably scored the equalizer in the 93rd minute of the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.[6][8]

Ramos has been named to the FIFPro World11 ten times; a record for a defender, and the third-most all-time. He has also been elected to the UEFA Team of the Year eight times; also a record for a defender, and third-most all-time. Additionally, Ramos has been named La Liga's Best Defender a record five times, and to the La Liga Team of the Season in 2015-16.

Internationally, Ramos represented the Spanish national team at four World Cups and three European Championships. He won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship in 2008 and 2012, being named to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2010, and the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2012. He made his first appearance for Spain at the age of 18 and, in 2013, he became the nation's youngest player to ever reach 100 caps.[9] Ramos currently holds the record as the most capped player in the history of the Spanish national team, and is his country's tenth-highest all-time goalscorer.

Club career

Sevilla

Born in Camas, Seville, Andalusia,[10] Ramos began his career at local side Sevilla, emerging through the club's youth system alongside Jesús Navas and Antonio Puerta. He made his first-team - and La Liga - debut on 1 February 2004, coming on as a 64th-minute substitute for Francisco Gallardo in a 0-1 away loss against Deportivo de La Coruña.[11]

In the 2004-05 season, Ramos appeared in 41 games as Sevilla finished sixth and qualified to the UEFA Cup, scoring in home fixtures against Real Sociedad (2-1)[12] and Real Madrid (2-2).[13] In the season's edition of that European tournament, he scored his first continental goal, heading to conclude a 2-0 win over CD Nacional at the Estadio Ramon Sánchez Pizjuán in the first round (4-1 aggregate).[14]

Real Madrid

2005-09: Record transfer and early days

Ramos in action in March 2007

In the summer of 2005, Ramos was purchased by Real Madrid for EUR27 million, a record for a Spanish defender.[15] He was the only Spanish player brought in during Florentino Pérez's first stint as Real's president.

At the club, Ramos was assigned the number 4 shirt, previously worn by Fernando Hierro. On 6 December 2005 he netted his first goal for the Merengues, in a 1-2 UEFA Champions League group stage loss at Olympiacos.[16]

During his first seasons, Ramos played as centre back, being also used as an emergency defensive midfielder on occasion. However, with the arrival of Christoph Metzelder and Pepe in the 2007-08 season, he was again relocated to right back. In his first four seasons at Real Madrid, Ramos displayed a goalscoring instinct unusual to many defenders, netting more than 20 goals overall. He also received the first nine of his 24 red cards for the club, including four in his debut season. His first red card came after two bookable offences in a 1-0 away loss to RCD Espanyol on 18 September 2005.[17]

During the 2006-07 season, Ramos scored five goals, including one in a 3-3 draw with FC Barcelona, as Real Madrid won a record 30th Spanish league championship.[18]

On 4 May 2008, he assisted Gonzalo Higuaín in the 89th minute against CA Osasuna in an eventual 2-1 away win, the match that sealed the club's 31st league championship. On the final day of the season, he scored twice in a 5-2 home win against already relegated Levante UD: one through a header, and another an individual effort; these goals taking his league tally for the 2007-08 season to five.[19]

On 24 August 2008, Ramos scored in the 2008 Supercopa de España second-leg against Valencia CF, making the score 2-1 in an eventual 4-2 and 6-5 aggregate win. The victory came despite Real Madrid playing with only nine men for a long period of time after Rafael van der Vaart and Ruud van Nistelrooy were sent off. Although Ramos experienced a slight dip in form during the early part of the 2008-09 season, he returned to his best and on 11 January 2009, scoring an acrobatic volley in a 3-0 triumph at RCD Mallorca.[20] He continued his scoring run the following week in a 3-1 home win against Osasuna.[21]

Ramos was named in both FIFA and UEFA's 2008 Team of the Year, adding the FIFPro Team of the Year 2007-08 accolade. He also finished 21st in the European Player of the Year nomination for 2008.[22]

2009-15: Breakout and team mainstay

At the start of the 2009-10 season, Ramos was appointed as one of Real Madrid's four captains. Because Pepe had suffered a serious knee injury during this campaign, Ramos was often deployed as central defender. He scored four goals in 33 league matches; and, on 21 February 2010 he played his 200th official match for the capital team against Villarreal CF (150 in the first division). Despite these personal highlights, Los Blancos finished the campaign without picking up any silverware.

Ramos in action in October 2010.

In Real Madrid's 0-5 loss at Barcelona on 29 November 2010, Ramos was sent off after kicking Lionel Messi from behind, then pushing Carles Puyol in the ensuing melée.[23] After this ejection, he equalled Fernando Hierro's previous record of ten red cards at the club, despite having played in 264 fewer games.[24] On 20 April 2011, Ramos started in the season's Copa del Rey final, a 1-0 win against Barcelona in Valencia. In the subsequent victory procession, while celebrating on the top of the club's bus, he accidentally lost hold of the cup, which fell under the wheels of the vehicle; the trophy was dented as a result.[25]

On 12 July 2011, Ramos extended his contract with Real Madrid until 2017.[26] The following 25 April, in the Champions League semi-finals' second leg against FC Bayern Munich, he missed his penalty shootout attempt as Real Madrid lost 1-3;[27] the league campaign ended in conquest after a four-year wait, and he was the player with most balls recovered in his team, third overall.[28]

On 9 January 2013, Ramos was sent off for a second bookable offense midway through the second half of an eventual 4-0 home win over Celta de Vigo for the domestic cup. He subsequently received a four-match suspension, after it was revealed he also insulted referee Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez.[29] The following month, mere minutes after scoring the second goal at home against Rayo Vallecano and less than 20 minutes into the first half, he received two yellow cards within one minute in the eventual 2-0 home success, taking his red card tally with Real Madrid alone to 16; and 12 in the league.[30][31]

In late February/early March 2013, due to the absence of Iker Casillas due to injury, Ramos captained Real to back-to-back wins over Barcelona in just four days: he netted the 2-1 home winner in the second game, heading home after a corner kick.[32]

On 14 December 2013, Ramos received a club record 18th red card for Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna,[33] but the suspension was later lifted.[34] His 19th came in a 3-4 home defeat to Barcelona, on 23 March 2014.[17]

On 26 April, Ramos scored a header against Osasuna in La Liga at the Bernabeu, in a counter-attack which he began with a strong tackle. It was his first goal in La Liga in six months, since his volley against Levante on match-day 8.[35] On 29 April 2014, Ramos scored two headers in four minutes in a 4-0 away win against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League,[36] with the tie ending with a 5-0 aggregate score and Madrid's qualification to the decisive match for the first time in twelve years. Ramos' brace against Bayern (4 minutes) was the fastest brace in UEFA Champions League semi-final history at the time.[37] On 4 May, Ramos scored in the 2-2 draw with Valencia at home in La Liga with another header, scoring in back-to-back league games.[38] Just three days later, Ramos scored his first free-kick for a 1-1 draw away to Valladolid, having scored in three consecutive La Liga matches and scoring four consecutive matches for Real Madrid for the first time.[39] On 24 May, in the final against Atlético Madrid, he headed home in stoppage time to tie the game 1-1, and Real Madrid went on to win 4-1 in extra time to claim 'La Decima', their tenth trophy in the competition; he was also chosen by fans as Man of the match.[40] Ramos ended 2013/14 with 7 goals, which made it his highest scoring season for Real Madrid at the time.

Ramos started 2014-15 season on 12 August 2014 by playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 win against Sevilla to win their first trophy of the season, the UEFA Super Cup. He then played the two-legged Supercopa de España final against Atlético Madrid with Los Blancos losing 2-1 on aggregate.[41] Ramos scored his first goal of the season on 31 August in week two of La Liga, a header in a 4-2 away loss against Real Sociedad.[42] Ramos scored his 50th Real Madrid goal which came off his knee on 8 November against Athletic Club at the Bernabeu in La Liga as Real Madrid won 5-1.[43]

He scored in both the semi-final and the final of the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup and was voted the Player of the Match in both as Real Madrid won the tournament in Morocco. Ramos was also voted the player of the tournament, winning the Golden Ball.[44][45]

2015-present: Captaincy and sustained success

Ramos posing with the European Cup, after the 2015-16 season

Ramos agreed a new five-year contract with Real Madrid in August 2015, tying him to the club until 2020. He was also made captain after the transfer of Casillas to FC Porto.[46] On 8 November, Ramos scored his first goal of the season away to Sevilla, it was an overhead kick which forced him to get substituted due to landing on his injured left shoulder.[]

On 20 December 2015, Ramos captained Madrid to a 10-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano, the club's highest scoring La Liga victory in 55 years.[47] The following 13 March, he received his 20th red card for Real Madrid in a 2-1 win over Las Palmas, having earlier scored the game's opening goal with a header from an Isco corner kick. On 2 April 2016, he returned from suspension in a 2-1 victory against Barcelona at Camp Nou, where he was again sent off, receiving his 21st red card and fourth in a Clásico fixture.[17]

Real Madrid reached the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final, where they faced Atlético Madrid. Ramos once again scored in a final, putting Real ahead in the first half. After a second-half equaliser from Atlético, he then scored a penalty in the shoot-out which resulted in Real winning 5-3; thus, he lifted his first UEFA Champions trophy as a captain.[48] According to author Michael Cox, he also notably "tipped the balance of the game toward Real Madrid" by tripping Yannick Carrasco up and stopping a three-on-one counter in stoppage time, with 30 seconds remaining and the score 1-1.[49] He was named man of the match by UEFA after the game.[48] By winning the final, Real Madrid earned the right to play against the winners of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League, Sevilla, in the 2016 UEFA Super Cup.[50] Ramos ended 2015-16 with three goals in 33 games which was his lowest goal tally and the fewest matches he played in any season at Real Madrid due to ongoing injuries.

Ramos and Community of Madrid President Cristina Cifuentes with the 2016-17 La Liga trophy during celebrations in Madrid.

Ramos started in the Super Cup, scoring Real Madrid's second goal of the match in the 93rd minute, and hence bringing the game into extra-time. Real Madrid were the eventual 3-2 winners, with Ramos being named man of the match.[51] On 3 December 2016, he scored his fourth Clásico goal, an equaliser against Barcelona in a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou in the 90th minute, extending Madrid's unbeaten run to 33 games.[52] One week later, he scored another late goal, this time after 92 minutes, to help Madrid claim a 3-2 victory against Deportivo de La Coruña.[53] On 15 January 2017, Ramos scored an own goal late in the game against Sevilla which equalised the score at 1-1 and eventually Real Madrid lost the match 2-1 in stoppage time, thus ending their unbeaten streak at 40 matches.[54] A week later, he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Málaga, registering his 50th goal in La Liga.[55]

On 11 February, in a 3-1 victory against Osasuna, Ramos's marked his 500th match with the club.[56] In the UEFA Champions League Round of 16-second leg, Ramos scored an important equalising header against S.S.C. Napoli in a 3-1 away win as Real Madrid qualified to the quarter-final after winning 6-2 on aggregate. On 12 March, Ramos scored another late header winner for Real Madrid, this time against Betis at the Bernabeu in a 2-1 win, taking his goal tally to 10 for the season - scoring double digit goals in a season for the first time in his career. Ramos' winner put Real Madrid back at the top of the La Liga table.[57] Real Madrid won their 33rd La Liga title, giving Ramos his fourth league title overall and first as captain.[58][59] They went on to win their first league and European Cup double since 1957-58 season, as the team defeated Juventus in the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final. This also made Ramos the first man to captain a team to back-to-back European Cups in the Champions League era.[60] His ten goals in 2016-17 made it the highest scoring season of his career.[61]

Ramos hoisting the European Champion Clubs' Cup as Real Madrid celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League, on 26 May 2018

On 20 August 2017, in Real Madrid's first game of the 2017-18 La Liga, he received his 23rd career red card. It was his 18th in La Liga, a joint highest record.[62] He went on to break that record, seeing his 19th La Liga red in a 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao.[63] Ramos scored his first goal of the season on 13 September in the Champions League, scoring a bicycle kick against APOEL on match-day 1.[64] In La Liga, Ramos scored four goals, including two penalties - against Leganes and Sevilla. During the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League, he made eleven appearances, while scoring one goal, when Madrid won their third consecutive and 13th overall Champions League title.[65] Ramos' performance in the final, however, was met with criticism;[66] a challenge on Mohamed Salah resulted in the Egyptian dislocating his shoulder and missing the rest of the game,[67] and he hit Liverpool keeper Loris Karius in the head with his elbow, the goalkeeper later being diagnosed with concussion.[68][69] Ramos later denied that he intentionally hit Karius, saying that Virgil van Dijk pushed him into Karius.[70] Ramos became the first player to captain a team to three consecutive Champions League triumphs, having now lifted the Champions League in every season as captain.[71]

Ramos began the 2018-19 season scoring a penalty in the eventual 2-4 loss to Atletico Madrid in the 2018 UEFA Super Cup. Taking the penalty ensured Ramos would be the team's new penalty taker with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.[72] On 26 August 2018, Ramos scored another penalty in Real Madrid's 1-4 away win against Girona FC, making him the only player along with Lionel Messi to score in each of the last 15 La Liga seasons.[73] One week later, Ramos scored his third penalty of the season, against Leganes in a 4-1 win at the Bernabéu - his first goal at the Bernabéu since March 2017.[74]

On 20 October 2018, Ramos played his 400th La Liga match for Real Madrid in a 1-2 loss at home to Levante, becoming only the tenth Real Madrid player to reach this milestone.[75] After a run of poor results and the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, Ramos scored his first goal for Real Madrid in two months through a Panenka, against Real Valladolid in Santiago Solari's first 2018-19 La Liga game in charge of Los Blancos.[76] Two weeks later, on 11 November, Ramos scored another Panenka against Celta Vigo - making them the 25th different team he scored against in La Liga.[77] This was Ramos' third Panenka from his last four penalties, with the inventor of the penalty, Antonín Panenka, saying Ramos was the best 'imitator' of his penalty technique.[78] With five goals in the first three months of the season, Ramos had his best goal-scoring start to a season at Real Madrid.[79] In the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, Ramos played in both Real Madrid's semi-final against Kashima Antlers and the Final against Al Ain. Ramos scored a header in the final as Real Madrid won 3-1 to claim their third consecutive FIFA Club World Cup.[80] Ramos became the first player to lift three consecutive FIFA Club World Cups while also becoming the first defender to score in two Club World Cup Finals.[81]

On 9 January 2019, Ramos scored a penalty in the Copa del Rey game against Leganés, which was his 100th career goal, excluding 2 goals for Sevilla's reserve team.[82] To celebrate the goal, Ramos chose to show the number 100 with his fingers.[83] On 24 January, Ramos scored a brace (2 goals) against Girona in the Copa del Rey Quarter-Final 1st Leg in a 4-2 home win.[84] It was Ramos' 4th brace for Real Madrid and his first in the Copa del Rey.[85] Three days later, Ramos scored his 10th goal of the campaign with a header against Espanyol in a 2-4 away win, which was also his 60th La Liga goal.[86] With ten goals to his name, Ramos equaled his highest-scoring season at Real Madrid which he set in 2016-17.[87]

On 6 February 2019, Sergio Ramos was playing in the Clásico for the 40th time. The captain has played in more encounters between Real Madrid and Barcelona than any other member of the current squads.[] Three days later, in the Madrid Derby, Ramos scored his eighth penalty of the season and his 11th goal in all competitions - making it his best goal-scoring season at Real Madrid.[88] Four days later, in the Champions League Round of 16 First Leg away win over Ajax, Ramos became just the seventh player to play 600 matches for Real Madrid.[89] In the match against Ajax, Ramos was booked for what seemed to be a needless challenge in the 90th minute. The booking meant that Ramos would miss the Second Leg against Ajax at the Bernabeu due a suspension of accumulating yellow cards. This sparked controversy after Ramos hinted to journalists in a post match interview that the yellow card was deliberate, which violates UEFA's rules.[90] Two and a half weeks later, UEFA opened a disciplinary investigation regarding this matter and decided to give Ramos a two-game ban, meaning he will also miss both the Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg against Ajax and the quarter-final First Leg which Real Madrid should qualify for.[91] Due to Real Madrid's elimination, the suspension carried onto the next season and Ramos missed the first Champions League game of the 2019/20 season against PSG.[92]

On 17 February, Ramos played his 601st match for Real Madrid, against Girona in La Liga, equaling the record of Real Madrid legends Hierro and Gento.[93] Ten days later, Ramos played in his 41st El Clasico, in the Copa del Rey Semi-final 2nd Leg at home. This was Ramos' 602nd match for Real Madrid, taking up to him fifth in Real Madrid's all-time appearances list.[94] On 2 March, Ramos played in the La Liga El Clasico at the Bernabeu, making him equal the all-time record of Sanchis, Gento and Xavi by playing in 42 Clasicos.[95] On 5 March, Real Madrid were eliminated from the Champions League by Ajax after losing 4-1 at the Bernabeu (aggregate 5-3).[96] Ramos did not feature due to being suspended after forcing a yellow card in the first leg, thus faced criticism for doing so.[97] Moreover, Ramos faced even more criticism as he was caught with a camera crew in the stands, filming for his new Amazon Prime documentary.[98] Ramos took to his Twitter and Instagram accounts to discuss the controversy surrounding his actions in which he admitted forcing the yellow card against Ajax in the first leg 'was an error and I take the blame 200%'. Regarding filming the documentary, Ramos claimed there were 'certain commitments' made prior and he did not imagine the game would pan out as it did.[99] Ramos picked up a calf injury at the start of April which saw him miss the rest of the campaign and the final eight La Liga matches.[100]

Ramos' first goal of the season was a header in his first Champions League match of the campaign, against Club Brugge on 1 October at the Bernabeu. The goal came at a vital time as Real Madrid were 0-2 down by half-time but were able to make a comeback after another header by Casemiro. This was also Ramos' first Champions League goal in two seasons.[101] On 30 October, Ramos scored from the penalty-spot in a 5-0 home victory over Leganés, continuing his run of scoring in 16 straight La Liga seasons.[102] One week later, on 6 November, Ramos scored his first penalty in the Champions League, which came against Galatasaray in a 6-0 home win. It was another 'Panenka' style penalty and also meant that Ramos scored in two Champions League group matches in the same season for the first time.[103] On 18 December, Ramos played in his 43rd El Clasico, claiming the all-time appearance record for this historic fixture.[104]

On 12 January, Ramos scored the winning penalty in a shoot-out against Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de España Final in Jeddah as Real Madrid won 4-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw after extra time. This was the first time in Ramos' career that he scored a winning penalty in a shoot-out.[105] The 2020 Super Copa title was Ramos' 21st trophy with Real Madrid.[106] A month later, Ramos scored another header in La Liga, this time away to Osasuna as Real Madrid won 4-1 to maintain top position in the table.[107] Ramos' goal at El Sadar meant that he had scored in 20 different La Liga stadiums.[108] This was also Ramos' first La Liga goal of 2020, meaning he was the only player to score in La Liga in each of the last 17 calendar years - dating back to 2004.[109]

On 26 February 2020, Ramos equalled the Record of the maximum number of red cards achieved in the UEFA Champions League. With 4 red cards, he shares the unwanted record with Zlatan and Edgar.[110]

International career

Early international career and 2006 FIFA World Cup

In 2004, Ramos became an instant hit for Spain's under-19, for whom he played six international matches. During the 2004 U19 Euro, Ramos was a key figure for Spain as he started in four out of five of their matches on the way to winning their second U19 European Championship, including scoring a decisive penalty in the Semi-final penalty-shoot out against Ukraine.[111][112] On 26 March 2005, in a 3-0 friendly win over China in Salamanca, he first appeared for the senior side at only 18 years and 361 days of age, making him the youngest player to play for the national team in the last 55 years. He held this record until 1 March 2006, when it was broken by Cesc Fàbregas in a friendly match against Côte d'Ivoire.[113]

On 12 October 2005, Ramos scored his first two international goals in a 6-0 away thrashing of San Marino for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.[114] He was selected for the final stages in Germany and, after the international retirement of Real Madrid teammate Míchel Salgado, became the undisputed first-choice right-back. Despite wearing the number 4 jersey for Real Madrid, Ramos admitted he wears the number 15 for Spain in memory of his close friend and former Sevilla teammate Puerta, who died in August 2007 and made his Spain debut wearing No. 15.[115][116]

Euro 2008

Throughout Spain's UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, Ramos was a regular member of the starting eleven as the national side finished first in its group, above Sweden. He scored two goals, including one in a 3-1 away win over Denmark, in 11 appearances. In the tournament's final stages, Ramos played in all matches and minutes, except the 2-1 group stage win against Greece. In the final, his pass nearly set up Marcos Senna's first international goal, but the latter missed his opportunity by inches. During the celebrations after the 1-0 defeat of Germany, he wore a T-shirt in honour of his late friend Puerta.[117]

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup

Ramos was selected in the squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, as Spain finished in third.[118] On 3 June 2010, he captained Spain for the first time, in a 1-0 friendly win over South Korea in Innsbruck, Austria.[119]

At the 2010 World Cup, held in the same country, Ramos played every minute of the tournament as a right back, helping Spain keep five clean sheets and reach the final, which they won 1-0 against the Netherlands; he topped the tournament's Castrol Performance Index with a score of 9.79.[120]

Euro 2012

Fernando Torres (l), Juan Mata and Ramos holding the Henri Delaunay Trophy after winning the 14th European Championship

Ramos returned to the heart of the defence for Euro 2012. When asked about his role change, he replied: "I have adapted and feel comfortable in the middle, but I am a World and European champion at right-back."[121] He played all the games in Poland and Ukraine alongside Barcelona's Gerard Piqué and, in the semi-finals against Portugal, he converted his penalty shootout attempt in an eventual 4-2 win (0-0 after 120 minutes), scoring for the eventual champions in Panenka-style.[122] On 1 July, Ramos won his third trophy with the Spanish senior National Team as they thrashed Italy 4-0 in the Final. Ramos' performances during the Euro earned him a place in the Team of The Tournament.[123] Ramos wore another T-shirt during Spain's Euro 2012 celebrations to pay homage to his late friend Puerta.[124]

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup

On 22 March 2013, Ramos celebrated his 100th cap by opening the scoring in a 1-1 draw with Finland in Gijón for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. He became the youngest European player ever to reach that figure in the process, surpassing Germany's Lukas Podolski.[9] In June, Ramos contested in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, starting every match as Spain lost to the hosts in the final. He captained the side for their second group game, a 10-0 win over Tahiti at the Maracanã, which is the biggest win of his career.[125] On 30 June, he missed a penalty kick in the 3-0 Confederations Cup Final loss to Brazil.[126]

Ramos was selected for his third World Cup in 2014.[127] He played the full 90 minutes of each of the team's matches in Brazil, each with a different partner in central defence, as the reigning champions were eliminated from the group stage.[128][129][130]

Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup

Ramos celebrates after scoring a goal against Russia in a friendly in Saint Petersburg.

In February 2016, Ramos won the Luis Aragones Award by Marca which distinguished him as the best player of the National Team in the past year.[] With David de Gea selected ahead of Iker Casillas in Spain's starting line-up, Ramos captained the team at UEFA Euro 2016. On 21 June 2016, he had a penalty kick saved by Danijel Suba?i? in a 2-1 loss to Croatia.[131] Spain finished their Euro group as runners-up and crashed out in the Round of 16 against Italy.[132]

On 23 March 2018, days before turning 32, Ramos earned his 150th cap for Spain in a 1-1 friendly draw with Germany in Düsseldorf. Only Iker Casillas had previously reached the mark for the team.[133]

Ramos was included in the Spain squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and would go into his fourth tournament, and first World Cup as Captain after Iker Casillas missed out.[134] He played in all three of Spain's Group stage matches as they topped the 'Group of Death' ahead of European Champions Portugal.[135] In the Round of 16 against Russia, Ramos believed he scored the opening goal but it was later credited as an Sergei Ignashevich own goal.[136] The match ended 1-1 after Extra Time and was decided on penalties (4-2) as the hosts eliminated La Roja. Ramos scored Spain's fourth penalty but it wasn't enough as teammates Koke and Aspas both had their penalties saved.[137][138]

Ramos with Russia Captain Igor Akinfeev (r) and referee Björn Kuipers before the 2018 World Cup Round of 16 match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

2018-19 UEFA Nations League and Euro 2020 qualification

With new coach Luis Enrique, Ramos retained captaincy of the national team. He played in all four of Spain's 2018-19 UEFA Nations League group matches, becoming the nation's top scorer in the group with three goals - scoring once against England and twice against Croatia.[139][140] Spain finished second in their UEFA Nations League Group, which saw them miss out on the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals.[141] In March 2019, Ramos scored the winner in Spain's first UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match against Norway through another Panenka penalty in a 2-1 win.[142] This was his tenth penalty of the season, scoring them all. It was also his fifth consecutive match scoring for Spain, which is a personal record.[143] Spain manager Enrique hailed Ramos as a 'unique player in history' after the match.[144]

In the second Euro 2020 qualification match, away to Malta, Ramos did not score for the first time in six matches for Spain - failing to extend his scoring streak. However the match ended 2-0 to Spain which was his 121st win with La Roja, equaling the all-time record of Iker Casillas.[145] On 7 June 2019, Ramos broke the record of most international victories with 122, following a 4-1 victory against the Faroe Islands, scoring Spain's opening goal in the process.[146] Three days later, ahead of the match against Sweden, Ramos received a plaque from the Spanish Football Federation to commemorate his record.[147] The match ended with a 3-0 win for Spain, where he scored the first goal and extended his tally to 123 international victories.[148] On 5 September 2019, Ramos scored from a penalty kick his 21st international goal to open the score in Spain's 2-1 away win over Romania in a Euro 2020 qualifier, which made him the joint 10th top scorer in the history of the national team, alonsigde Míchel.[149] On 8 September, Ramos won his 167th cap for Spain in a 4-0 home win over the Faroe Islands in a Euro 2020 qualifier; with this appearance, he equaled Iker Casillas as Spain's most capped player of all time.[150] On 12 October 2019, he became the nation's most capped player.[151]

Style of play

Regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, Ramos is a physically strong player who excels in the air due to his elevation, eye for goal, and heading accuracy, making him a goal threat on set-pieces;[5][6][7][152][153][154] he is also a competent, aggressive tackler. In addition to his defensive skills and goalscoring ability,[5][6][7] he is gifted with pace,[152] good technical ability, as well as good distribution, passing, and crossing ability.[5][6][7][155] According to Spanish sports newspaper Marca, FIFA's official records confirmed that in 2015, Ramos was clocked at a sprinting speed of 30.6 kilometers per hour, making him one of the fastest footballers in the world at the time.[156] He is also an accurate penalty taker, and is known for often using the Panenka technique when taking them.[157][158]

Due to his leadership, his athletic and technical prowess, his ability to excel both offensively and defensively, as well as his tactical versatility, which allows him to be deployed as a centre back and as a full back, former manager Carlo Ancelotti has compared him to legendary defender Paolo Maldini.[155] Due to his tactical versatility, he has also occasionally been deployed as a central or defensive midfielder, in particular under Ancelotti during the 2014-15 season.[159] Ramos has been praised for his decisive performances in important games, most notably for Real Madrid, due to his tendency to score crucial goals for his team, and is considered by several pundits to be one of the most reliable performers in high-pressure situations.[B] However, his concentration from match to match has been questioned.[160][161]

Ramos is often criticised for using excessive, reckless force while playing,[162][163][164][165][166][167] and has been accused of diving.[168]

Disciplinary record

Ramos holds multiple disciplinary records, in the Champions League, La Liga, and in the Spanish national team.

Ramos holds the record for being the most carded player in La Liga, with 187 cards. His 167 yellow cards surpass Alberto Lopo, the former record holder for La Liga yellow cards.[169] The remaining 20 are red cards, making him the most sent-off player in La Liga as well. His La Liga card record is higher than any other player's in the major European league, making him the most booked player in all major European leagues.[170]

In the Champions League, Ramos has amassed 40 yellow cards and 4 red cards (3 of which were straight red cards), making him both the most-carded player and joint-most red-carded player in Champions League history.[171][172]

Lastly, Ramos also holds the record for being the most carded player in the history of the Spanish national team, with 24 yellow cards.[170]

Personal life

Ramos entered a relationship with journalist/presenter Pilar Rubio in September 2012. This was confirmed by both at the FIFA Ballon d'Or.[173] They have three sons together: Sergio Jr (born 6 May 2014), Marco (born 27 November 2015) and Alejandro (born 25 March 2018).[174][175] On 16 July 2018, Ramos proposed to long-term girlfriend Pilar Rubio and the couple got engaged.[176] The couple married in Ramos' home-town of Seville on 15 June 2019.[177]

Ramos has been described as a 'family person' and has a close relationship with his siblings and parents.[178] Rene, Ramos' brother is currently his football agent.[179] Ramos is a fan of bullfighting and he is a personal friend of matador Alejandro Talavante.[180] He celebrated victories for both club and country by playing with a matador's cape.[181] Ramos is also a keen horse aficionado, owning a stud farm in his native Andalusia specifically dedicated to the breeding of the Andalusian horse.[182] Ramos' horse, 'Yucatán SR4' became a World Champion in 2018.[] Ramos is Catholic, and has a tattoo of Mary which covers the top half of his left arm.[183]

Amazon Prime documentary

In January 2019, Amazon Prime and Ramos himself announced they will release an eight-episode docu-series on Ramos' life on and off the pitch. This would be the first ever time the public would see the personal side of Ramos and his family.[184] On 5 March, during Real Madrid's Champions League Round of 16 second leg match, Ramos was suspended and watched the match from his VIP area in the stands. His reactions were filmed by the Amazon Prime crew.[185] This sparked controversy as Real Madrid lost that match and were eliminated from the Champions League, but Ramos suggested on his social media networks that there were 'certain commitments made and it never remotely went through my head that the game could have turned out as it did'.[99]

Career statistics

Club

As of 26 February 2020[186][187]
Club Season League Cup Europe Other1 Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sevilla B 2003-04 Segunda División 26 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 2
Sevilla 2003-04 La Liga 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
2004-05 31 2 5 0 6 1 0 0 42 3
2005-06 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 39 2 5 0 6 1 0 0 50 3
Real Madrid 2005-06 La Liga 33 4 6 1 7 1 0 0 46 6
2006-07 33 5 3 0 6 1 0 0 42 6
2007-08 33 5 3 0 7 0 2 1 45 6
2008-09 32 4 0 0 8 1 2 1 42 6
2009-10 33 4 0 0 7 0 0 0 40 4
2010-11 31 3 7 1 8 0 0 0 46 4
2011-12 34 3 4 0 11 1 2 0 51 4
2012-13 26 4 3 0 9 1 2 0 40 5
2013-14 32 4 8 0 11 3 0 0 51 7
2014-15 27 4 2 1 8 0 5 2 42 7
2015-16 23 2 0 0 10 1 0 0 33 3
2016-17 28 7 3 1 11 1 2 1 44 10
2017-18 26 4 1 0 11 1 4 0 42 5
2018-19 28 6 6 3 5 0 3 2 42 11
2019-20 23 5 2 0 5 2 2 0 32 7
Total 442 64 48 7 124 13 24 7 638 91
Career total 507 68 53 7 130 14 24 7 714 96

1 Includes Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

International

Ramos lining up for Spain against France, 2012
As of 18 November 2019[188]
Spain
Year Apps Goals
2005 7 2
2006 13 0
2007 10 2
2008 15 0
2009 11 0
2010 16 1
2011 10 1
2012 16 2
2013 17 1
2014 9 1
2015 6 0
2016 10 0
2017 9 3
2018 12 4
2019 9 4
Total 170 21

International goals

As of match played 5 September 2019. Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ramos goal.[189]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 13 October 2005 Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino 3-0 4-0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 4-0
3 13 October 2007 Atletion, Aarhus, Denmark  Denmark 2-0 3-1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualification
4 17 November 2007 Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain  Sweden 3-0 3-0
5 3 March 2010 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  France 2-0 2-0 Friendly
6 6 September 2011 Las Gaunas, Logroño, Spain  Liechtenstein 4-0 6-0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualification
7 16 October 2012 Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain  France 1-0 1-1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 14 November 2012 Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama  Panama 4-0 5-1 Friendly
9 22 March 2013 El Molinón, Gijón, Spain  Finland 1-0 1-1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 8 September 2014 Estadi Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain  Macedonia 1-0 5-1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
11 5 September 2017 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 1-0 8-0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 14 November 2017 Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia  Russia 2-0 3-3 Friendly
13 3-3
14 11 September 2018 Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, Elche, Spain  Croatia 5-0 6-0 2018-19 UEFA Nations League A
15 11 October 2018 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  Wales 2-0 4-1 Friendly
16 15 October 2018 Estadio Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain  England 2-3 2-3 2018-19 UEFA Nations League A
17 15 November 2018 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia  Croatia 2-2 2-3
18 23 March 2019 Mestalla Stadium, Valencia, Spain  Norway 2-1 2-1 UEFA Euro 2020 qualification
19 7 June 2019 Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands 1-0 4-1
20 10 June 2019 Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain  Sweden 1-0 3-0
21 5 September 2019 Arena Na?ional?, Bucharest, Romania  Romania 1-0 2-1

Honours

Real Madrid[190]

Spain U19[191]

Spain[190]

Individual

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In isolation, Ramos and García are pronounced ['ramos] and [?a?'?i.a] respectively.
  2. ^
    • Hayward, Ben (7 March 2017). "Is Sergio Ramos the best big-game player in the world?". Goal. Retrieved 2018.
    • McIlroy, Thomas (15 March 2017). "Sergio Ramos: The Best Big Game Player In The World". Football Whispers. Retrieved 2018.
    • Okwonga, Musa (7 June 2017). "Sergio Ramos: Born inside the big game". Tifo Football. Retrieved 2018.
    • McTear, Euan (25 September 2017). "SERGIO RAMOS: THE LEGENDARY DEFENDER WHO'LL BE REMEMBERED FOR EVERYTHING BUT". These Football Times. Retrieved 2018.
    • Hunter, Graham (24 May 2018). "Sergio Ramos is Real Madrid's ultimate big-game player in Europe". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018.

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