Football

Sergio Ramos- From the streets of Sevilla to the greatest defender of his generation.

Sergio Ramos is a phenomenon. A player that has achieved so much in our beautiful game and is still hungry for more. There are very few players who have reached the pedestal that Ramos has and he still is setting milestones after milestones. A lionheart born in the human kin, he led his teams to many battles, fought with blood and sweat and has won it all.

In the summer of 2005, when Ramos arrived at Los Blancos with a record transfer of 27 million Euros for a teenager from Sevilla, he was just a boy among the ‘Galacticos‘. He donned legendary Fernando Hierro’s number 4 when he arrived at the club. The boy from the streets of Camas now has surpassed Hierro and has written his own legacy.

Defending has always been the least glorious yet most climacteric and SR4 is a defender of a very different breed. His knowledge of controlling the game from the back, ability to rally his troops, stepping up at clutch moments combined with his knack of scoring goals sets him apart from any defender of his generation. Since his days of pink tracksuit with flowing long hair to all muscular, inked and bearded, there’s very little in him that has changed as a player.

What sets him apart most from his peers in the game is his ability to score goals and some highly important goals. “In the square, we used to play in back in my hometown, I used to always play as a striker and I scored a lot of goals,” he told Undici. “I would run around like crazy celebrating then, just like Cristiano Ronaldo does now. So when I join the attack nowadays I feel comfortable because of all the experience I’ve accumulated since I was a kid. As much as it is infinitely more difficult now as a professional, my previous experience allows me to act differently to other defenders who go forward.”

Real Madrid in the past decade has been the most influential and the most successful club in Europe and that success and been built majorly down upon two players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. People regard Cristiano as one of the greatest of the game, and rightly so, he deserves every heap of praise that he gets. But, Ramos’ influence on Real Madrid has been far greater than Cristiano, he influences bigger decisions and has been the real leader of the club.

Over the years, Ramos eceived many encomiums but what Real Madrid’s former coach Carlos Ancelotti said, sums him up the best, “There are defenders with extraordinary technical ability, others have unique defensive qualities – like Cannavaro, brilliant at marking. Others, like Baresi, can command a back line while others influence with strong personalities. But factoring everything together to evaluate a defender then Sergio Ramos is the most complete. He’s got a bit of everything: technical ability, strength, personality and leadership.”

Ramos has always been a serial winner, he has that blood of a winner. In the last decade, he heaped trophies after trophies including many individual awards as well. A winner of four Champions League titles, four Ligas, UEFA Euros 2008 and 2012, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and a plethora of other trophies. He also has featured a record 8 times in UEFA Team of the year while adding many other personal accolades to his name.

The 32-year-old oozes bravado and confidence. To believe the words of the man himself, he was born with ‘balls of gold’. Nothing cracks him up, no matter how hard the going gets, he will still shout and run with the same intensity and he imparts that to everyone around him. There are very few moments in football that stand as iconic as his injury-time equalizer against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Final.

With all his strengths, he also has his weak moments. He becomes foul-mouthed and will throw himself into challenges at times which have earned him criticisms and suspensions. But it should never be asked to be taken away from him and rather be celebrated as that is what makes Ramos the man he is.

The Andalusian has always been one of his kind. Someone who could feature in any era, and has attributes that have become rather extinct in the modern-day defending and also possesses elements that have paved way for a totally new breed of defenders.

When Ramos will bow down, hang his boots and bid farewell to our beautiful game there will surely be his statutes around Madrid and his name will echo forever in the footballing corridors.

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