Former Real Madrid center back Sergio Ramos hadn’t played for PSG since signing with the club this summer. Break-ups are hard, and Madridistas were shocked when the club did not re-sign Ramos and the No. 4 chose to play for PSG. A club legend who accomplished everything there is to accomplish in Madrid, Ramos was more than just a world-class center back. He was a leader, an icon.
So while Madridistas eventually accepted Ramos’ departure and are thrilled with the ability David Alaba has shown at center back for Los Blancos, there is a part inside all of us that dearly misses Ramos. And though many Madrid fans despise PSG, particularly after their treatment of Kylian Mbappe this summer, all of them are rooting for Ramos to do well with his new club.
Things have been rocky for Ramos. Again, it took until the Nov. 28 fixture in Ligue 1 against a struggling Saint-Etienne side for the Spanish captain to get back on the pitch. Ramos missed the Euros, even, with recurring injuries, which likely played a role in Real Madrid deciding not to meet his financial or length demands in a new contract.
Thus, it was wonderful to see Ramos finally back out there on the pitch – healthy and enjoying his football. Sure, it is surreal to see him in a white kit other than Madrid’s and to be having a locked-in connection with former hated rival Lionel Messi, but the pain is drowned out by the feelings we all have for Madrid’s former captain.
Sergio Ramos delivered a familiar performance to Real Madrid fans
Beyond the happiness we should feel in seeing a healthy Ramos doing what he does best, Madridistas can also be happy with how the No. 4 played. It was as if he never left the pitch for months with injuries. The 35-year-old was every bit as world-class as he was in the first half of the 2020-2021 season and throughout the 2019-2020 title-winning season for Real Madrid.
Ramos’ numbers look eerily similar, too. In helping PSG to a 3-1 victory in a match that was 1-1 at the half, Ramos led the team with 101 pass attempts, completing about 94 percent of them. He was accurate on seven of nine long balls. Many of those brilliant switches to create space were of a trademark variety that Real fans know all too well. Defensively, the world-class central defender had three tackles and two interceptions.
Most importantly, Ramos dictated the tempo as only he can at center back and uplifted the team into something that was more than the sum of their parts. It is no coincidence that Lionel Messi had his best match of the season with Ramos’ presence filling the previous void behind him. The Argentine playmaker finally showed his class in Ligue 1, assisting all three goals with a total of five key passes to lead PSG.
That’s what Ramos brings to the table. He is larger than life, does his job, makes everyone around him better, and controls the game like a midfielder from the center back position. As much as Madridistas will always miss that, we can take solace in three things. One, that we had him in the first place- and at his peak, no less. Two, that we have the only other similar player in David Alaba. And three, that Ramos is still able to show these qualities at 35.
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There was a worry he would not reach this level again due to injuries, but, in his first game back, he has quickly turned those aside. Above all else, Real Madrid fans should be most happy about that. Not for PSG’s sake, but for Ramos. Even outside of Madrid, he has earned that unconditional support from us.