Sergio Ramos: From an average right back to the best center back of the decade

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Sergio Ramos García is one of the most famous personalities in the world of football but his journey to the top is far from ordinary.

Ramos was born in Sevilla and began his career at local side Sevilla, emerging through the club's youth system. He made his first team and La Liga debut on 1 February 2004 and went on to make 41 appearances as Sevilla finished sixth and qualified to the UEFA Cup, scoring in home fixtures against Real Sociedad and Real Madrid.

After a total of 50 appearances, Ramos made a switch from Sevilla to Real Madrid in 2005 for €27 million, a record for a Spanish defender.

Ramos inherited the #4 shirt from Fernando Hierro. During his first seasons, Ramos played as center back, being also used as an emergency defensive midfielder. However, with the arrival of Metzelder and Pepe in the 2007, he was again relocated to right back.

In his first four seasons at Real Madrid, Ramos displayed a goalscoring instinct unusual to many defenders, netting more than 20 goals overall. After a string of impressive performances Ramos was named in both FIFA and UEFA's 2008 Team of the Year.

At the start of the 2009–10 season, Ramos was appointed as one of Real Madrid's four captains and in the same season due to Pepe's injury played most of the games as a center back. It was then when Ramos showed that he could be a world class CB. Ramos' stats revealed he was the player who made the most recoveries and successful tackles. Ramos consolidated his position in the team as a CB over the years.

Sergio Ramos wrote his name in the history books of Real Madrid C.F on 24 May, 2014 in the UCL final against Atlético Madrid,as he headed home in stoppage time to tie the game 1–1, and Real Madrid went on to win 4–1 in extra time to claim 'La Decima', he was also chosen by fans as Man of the match.

Ramos was nicknamed Mr 92.48 after his famous goal. Ramos ended 2013/14 with 7 goals, which made it his highest scoring season for Real Madrid at the time. Sergio Ramos was instrumental to his side's road to the final where he avenged his penalty miss against Bayern in 2012 by scoring a brace in the semis this time.

The UCL in 2014 was just the start to the glorious period in Real Madrid's history as in the same year they won the Copa Del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA CWC.

Ramos was also made the captain after the transfer of Casillas to FC Porto in 2015. Ramos led this team to 3 consecutive UCL's, a La Liga and many more trophies. Sergio Ramos stood as a rock defending everything that came his way.

Ramos has displayed his great aerial abilities while defending or attacking, as he's scored various headers or dealt with tough situations in the dying minutes of the game to rescue his team.

Ramos is one of the most technically gifted defenders who possesses good ball distribution, crossing, tackling, dribbling skills. Due to his leadership, his athletic and technical prowess, his ability to excel both offensively and defensively, fearlessness, as well as his tactical versatility, which allows him to be deployed as a CB and as a fullback, former manager Ancelotti has compared him to legendary defender Maldini.

Over the years he's established himself as the best in his position and the best players of the game like Suarez, Kane, Neymar, Griezmann and many more have named him the toughest defender they've faced. One flaw in Ramos' game is his discipline and reckless tackling which has seen him pick up multiple cards over the course of time.

Ramos has scored 98 goals for club and country in 799 appearances of which 589 are for Real and 161 for Spain. Ramos has been in FIFA FIFPro TOTY 9 times and UEFA TOTY 7 times the most for any defender. Ramos with his national side won Euro in 2008 and 2012 and FIFA World Cup in 2010 and now is the captain of Spanish national team as well. Ramos is one of most loved and hated personality in the world of football at the same time and that tells us a thing or two about his success.

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Edited by Abhinav Munshi
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