There is a moment in the second season of the documentary series about Sergio Ramos, prepared for Amazon, which seems to concentrate a good part of the footballer’s concerns, at a time when he was facing the negotiation of the last great contract of his career: “I don’t want to be portrayed for lack of speed, for lack of physique. And that’s why I put a lot of emphasis, I crush myself day after day, ”he says sitting on a sofa, while images of the footballer exercising in his home gym pass over his voice. “It is an internal struggle that I have against my age, against my body, which to this day I think I have won and I will win for a few more years.”
It was still 2020 then, the center-back sported a pre-confinement trimmed beard, and exhibited enormous confidence in extending his future at Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. The same as months later, when on March 11 he appeared in public to present The Legend of Sergio Ramos, the result of the recordings. That afternoon he saw a world of possibilities, records and media exposure that stretched out at his feet: “If my head holds me, I could reach the World Cup in Mexico [también Canadá y EEUU]”, To be held in 2026, when the footballer is 40 years old:” He would be the only player in history to play six World Cups. The one from Qatar [en 2022] it would be my fifth … ”, he dreamed. There was then no doubt that this summer he would participate with Spain in the Eurocup and even maintained the illusion of going to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
He had just recovered from the meniscus intervention in his left knee and was getting ready to play again two days later: just over an hour against Elche in La Liga, the aperitif for the return leg of the last 16 of the Champions League. following week against Atalanta at Alfredo di Stéfano. But that return was nothing more than a link in a chain of physical misfortunes that ended up exploding on Sunday night when Luis Enrique called him by phone to tell him that he would not be on the list of summoned for the European Championship. “He has not been able to compete throughout this season in the right conditions,” explained the coach on Monday.
In 2021, Ramos has participated in five games with Madrid (one in the Spanish Super Cup, two in the League and two in the Champions League: 395 minutes) and in two with Spain (49 minutes).
Staying out of the Eurocup means for the captain of Madrid and the team to definitely leave the showcase this season in which he still has pending the fundamental question of the renewal of his contract, which expires on June 30.
In addition, this departure from the spotlight occurs precisely for the reasons whose strength the defender had most defended in his promotional appearance in March. Then he even resorted to the argument of authority of one of the club’s greatest historical institutions: “I am 34 years old, and I will turn 35 shortly, but Santiago Bernabéu said that there are no young or old players, but good or bad. They should not be judged on their age, but on their performance. I can perform three, four or five more years at the highest level ”.
Until then, Ramos’ performances had responded to his confidence and his efforts, particularly at the end of last season, after confinement. There emerged a captain more dominant than ever emotionally and also as a scorer. Madrid won that League with a plethora of Ramos of which the president, Florentino Pérez, said he wanted him to never leave the club.
But when time ticked by and, in brief informal conversations, they got into the details of how that trajectory would continue, the relationship cooled. Pérez offered him one more year with a 10% reduction in the salary of this course and of which they would sign extra, while the footballer wanted to extend two seasons, accepting the discounts derived from the financial hole of the coronavirus.
Injury after injury, Ramos continued to disappear, and marked his influence from his seat in the last final of the Di Stéfano stands, amid whistles, cheers and protests to the referees. But his negotiations with Pérez have remained frozen. The test of the iciness was left by the white president the night he went on television to present the Superliga project. When asked about Ramos, he abandoned the explanatory tone of the previous hour and said: “I’m leaving.” And at that point they continue.
There is also a scene for that in the second season of the Ramos series. It is October 2020, the family is gathered in a living room and the footballer seems to suddenly remember: “My contract is running out.” His father immediately responds: “That’s what you have to think.”