Legendary captain Sergio Ramos will leave Real Madrid after a brilliant and trophy-laden career spanning 671 games and 16 seasons, the club announced on Wednesday.
Real said there will be an “act of tribute and farewell” to the four-time Champions League winner on Thursday in the presence of club president Florentino Pérez.
The ad follows an injury-plagued 2020/21 campaign in which the 35-year-old Ramos appeared in just 21 games across all competitions, the fewest in a 16-year career at Madrid. He has played only five times since the beginning of the year.
The veteran defender and captain of the national team was excluded from the squad for Euro 2020 by Spanish coach Luis Enrique due to lack of playing time.
One of the great moments of Sergio Ramos in @Real Madrid 🏆
Legends are forever.pic.twitter.com/a9CKu1wLEX
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 16, 2021
Ramos joined Real Madrid from Sevilla in 2005, the only Spaniard hired during Pérez’s first term as president, the first Galacticos era in which a major superstar was signed each season.
With a commanding presence at the rear, Ramos was also a prolific scorer, scoring 101 goals for Real, including the 93rd minute draw in the 2014 Champions League final against Atlético de Madrid.
They went on to dominate their city rivals 4-1 after overtime, the first of Real Madrid’s impressive four-win streak of the Champions League in five years.
He is one of the club’s most decorated players, having won five league titles, four Champions League titles and two King’s Cups.
He won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and the European Championship in both 2008 and 2012, but has often been a polarizing figure outside of Madrid.
Red card registration
Ramos holds the record for the most red cards in La Liga history with 20, and was sent off 26 times in all competitions for Madrid.
A fierce competitor, he has come under fire for his tough tackle, including the infamous takedown of Mohamed Salah during the 2018 Champions League final that left the Liverpool star with a dislocated shoulder.
This season, Ramos missed games after catching Covid-19 and also due to a series of injuries to his right thigh, left calf, and left hamstring.
He was in Madrid’s squad for the last La Liga game against Villarreal, but he didn’t play.
According to Spanish media, Real and Ramos had not been able to reach an agreement on an extension of their contract, which will expire on June 30.
The club wanted to offer him a one-year contract with a 10 percent reduction in salary in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, while Ramos wanted a two-season extension, according to reports.
The absence of Spain’s record holder Ramos means that there is not a single Madrid player on Enrique’s team at Euro 2020.
Ramos has played 180 times for his country, scoring 23 goals, a tally that places him eighth on Spain’s all-time goal scorers list.
It was Spain in four World Cups and three European Championships and was a key member of the squads that represented the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 Euros.
Ramos will become a free agent after June 30 and a large number of major European clubs, including Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, are reported to be interested in signing the veteran.
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