For fans across the globe it may seem quite peculiar to see Sergio Ramos in new colours for the 2020-21 season. After announcing the end of a hugely successful 16-year association with Real Madrid, the Blancos legend has a new home at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 35-year-old has penned a two-year deal at the Parc des Princes – having been unsuccessful at getting the same length of contract at Madrid – and brings with him a history of success. Stats Perform has looked at some of the impressive statistics during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
LONGEVITY THE KEY
It is not just the quality Ramos brought to Madrid’s backline but the sheer longevity he has been at the top of his game. Over 16 trophy-laden seasons, Ramos has played in 469 LaLiga games for Madrid – only three players have racked up more for Los Blancos. Moreover, the 22 trophies he has lifted with the club is bettered by only Paco Gento, who collected 23.
It will not surprise anyone to learn Lionel Messi (383) is the only player to have won more games than Ramos in LaLiga, whose 334 is coincidentally the same amount achieved by fellow Madrid great Iker Casillas. And the 45 Clasico games Ramos has played in is a joint-high with Barca talisman Messi.
Of course, Ramos is known for the occasional gamesmanship and ill-discipline. The 20 LaLiga red cards he has received is also a competition high. It is not just domestically where Ramos has made his presence felt, he is of course a four-time Champions League winner. Impressively, all of his 129 Champions League games were starts – the most of any player in Europe’s premier competition without a single substitute appearance.
PSG have of course signed a player with exceptional defensive prowess and leadership skills. But the Ligue 1 giants may also find Ramos contributing to their cause at the other end of the pitch too, as he so often did for Madrid. Ramos first hit double figures for goals in the 2016-17 campaign, scoring 10 times. He improved on that in 2018-19, registering 11, before netting 13 times in his penultimate season with Madrid, albeit seven of those came from the penalty spot.
Indeed, he is the only defender to score 100 goals while playing in one of Europe’s top five European leagues since the turn of the century. In total, he scored 101 goals for Madrid. 72 of those were in LaLiga, 15 in the Champions League, seven in the Copa del Rey, three in the Club World Cup and two apiece in the Supercopa de Espana and UEFA Super Cup. Of his Madrid goals in all competitions, 22 came from the penalty spot (21.7 per cent), while 55 (54.4 per cent) were unsurprisingly headed goals.
In the 21st century, only three players have scored more headed LaLiga goals than Ramos – Fernando Llorente (42), Aritz Aduriz (49), and long-time team-mate and Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo (52).
SOME REIGN FOR SPAIN
Ramos’ successes have not been confined purely to Madrid. The legendary centre-back has also enjoyed a mightily impressive international career. He was a member of the Spain squads that won three straight major tournaments – European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012 sandwiching World Cup glory in 2010.
A spate of injuries this term meant Ramos was a shock omission from Luis Enrique’s selection for Euro 2020. But even accounting for that, no one can better the whopping 180 appearances Ramos has made for Spain, while his 23 goals is seventh on their all-time leading goalscorers list. Only Fernando Hierro with 29 has scored more for Spain among defenders.