End Of An Era: Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos to leave the club

Ramos won 22 trophies during a 16-year stint at Real Madrid [File: Sergio Perez/Reuters]
Ramos won 22 trophies during a 16-year stint at Real Madrid

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is to leave after a 16-year spell in which he won 22 trophies, the club said on Wednesday.

Real said there would be an “act of tribute and farewell” to Ramos on Thursday in the presence of club president Florentino Perez. Ramos, 35, has struggled with injuries this season and has played just five times since the start of the year. His 21 appearances for Real Madrid in all competitions is his lowest in 15 seasons playing for the club.

Ramos signed for Real from Sevilla in 2005 for 27 million euros at the time, a record fee for a Spanish defender. Making 671 appearances and scoring 101 goals, Ramos was made captain in 2015 after the departure of goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

He is one of the club’s most successful players ever, having won five La Liga titles, four Champions League and two Copa del Rey. This season, Ramos has missed games after catching Covid-19 and also because of injuries. He was in Madrid’s squad for the final game of the La Liga season against Villarreal but did not play.

According to Spanish media, Real and Ramos have not been able to find an agreement on a possible extension of his contract which will expire on June 30. The club wanted to offer him a one-year deal with a 10 percent cut in salary in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, while Ramos wanted a two-season extension, according to reports.

The veteran defender was also omitted from the Spain squad for the continuing Euro 2020. The absence of Ramos meant there is not a single Madrid player in the Spain squad.

Ramos is the most capped player in the history of the Spanish national team, having played 180 games. With 23 goals, he is also Spain’s eighth-highest all-time goalscorer.

He represented Spain at four World Cups and three European Championships. He was a key member of the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

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