From the ruins of 2019 to the glorious La Liga triumph of 2020 — Real Madrid have certainly come a long way over the last year.
Even at the start of the season, most branded Real Madrid as a team in transition, practically counting them out of Spain’s top-flight race.
Zinedine Zidane, who had the monumental task of lifting the team’s spirits, didn’t flinch or react. He kept his head down and trusted his champions to do what they do best — suffer and conquer.
Since picking up the captain’s armband from Iker Casillas in 2015, Sergio Ramos has been the most influential personality in Real Madrid’s roster of superstars.
The former Sevilla man has always been a towering presence, of course, but he has truly become a pillar of ‘Madridismo’ over the last half a decade.
He has made mistakes, he has suffered, he has been sent off, and he has been ridiculed. Yet, even after enduring the lowest of lows, he has always bounced back, inevitably.
Personally, Sergio Ramos did not have the worst of seasons in 2018-19. He was Los Blancos’ most consistent performer at the back and always tried to come up with something extraordinary during the most desperate moments.
In the Champions League Round of 16 tie against Ajax, last season, Real Madrid secured a 2-1 win away from home.
Sergio Ramos, that night, intentionally picked up a yellow to tuck himself away for a potentially difficult quarter-final clash.
Without his ferocity in the heart of the defence, Real Madrid crumbled in front of a packed Santiago Bernabeu in the return leg, suffering an embarrassing 4-1 loss. Ramos didn’t say anything explicitly. Only pledged to bounce back next season.
Real Madrid were desperate to right last season’s wrongs and were desperate for the guidance of their evergreen #4. Determined as he was, Sergio Ramos grabbed the challenge by the scruff of its neck and took it to town.
With Ramos beaming with confidence, Raphael Varane, too, found his footing. He matched his captain toe to toe in terms of defensive contribution, making sure Thibaut Courtois didn’t have to sweat profusely between the posts.
Soon enough, Real Madrid emerged as the most disciplined side in Europe, boasting the least goals conceded across the top-five leagues.
Sergio Ramos’ goalscoring prowess
The brilliance of Sergio Ramos cannot be summed up without paying heed to his soul — his forward’s soul. Yes, he does not start the games as a centre-forward, but he often takes the liberty to become one.
More often than not, Ramos rushes forward in search of the spectacular, always giving opposition defenders something to worry about. Corners are always a menacing affair with the Spaniard lurking around.
Sergio Ramos, who happens to be one of the best headers of the ball, has a reputation for scoring invaluable headers, and no defender in the world can show the audacity to test his luck.
His pinpoint long balls, too, are a thing of beauty — capable of even making the great Toni Kroos blush. However, if we were to pick one offensive attribute that’d put any striker to shame, we’d have to go with Ramos’ insane penalty prowess.
From the cheekiest of Panenkas to the most composed corner-kissers, Sergio Ramos has got every trick in his book. In the 2019-20 La Liga season, Ramos converted six penalties, not spilling even a single one.
Sergio Ramos, who moved to the capital from Seville in 2005, played his 650th match for Real Madrid in the last matchday of the 2019-20 league campaign.
He celebrated the occasion with a well-placed header against Leganes, which, in turn, took his goal tally to 100.
Thanks to his quality in front of goal, many doubters are quick to write off Ramos as an average defender with an eye for goal. They put all his achievements down to his offensive prowess, belittling how great a defender he is.
But deep down, they must know how big of a misconception they have. They must also hope to have a player with Sergio Ramos’ irreplaceable qualities.
His goalline clearance against Villarreal on Matchday 37 practically sealed the title for Real Madrid.
His interceptions against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu allowed Real Madrid to open up a slender advantage at the top of the table. His penalties against Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad, Getafe, and Athletic Bilbao won Real Madrid seven whopping points — a return even the greatest forwards would be proud of.
His ability to turn the odds in his favour has helped Real Madrid time and again — a fact even his staunchest haters would not dare to argue.
Sergio Ramos’ command inside the box, communication with his team-mates, and unwavering spirit make him the man he is — Real Madrid’s leader and legend. Real Madrid’s captain extraordinaire.