Sergio Ramos has commanded the defences of Real Madrid and Spain for a decade, but is he the defender needed to bring consistency to Manchester United’s back line?
Anyone who has watched Ramos play over the past 10 seasons will know what type of defender he is. He has been the anchor in Real Madrid’s defence, and he has formed a solid defensive partnership with Pepe at Real, and with Pique in Spain’s defence. If there are two types of player that United need to acquire this summer, they are winners and world class defenders, and Ramos is both.
He wins trophies and puts in fantastic performances; in the 2014 Champions League final, there were shades of Sheringham and Solskjaer at the Nou Camp when Ramos rose to head in a Luka Modric corner on 93 minutes last summer and take the Madrid-derby Champions League final into extra-time. At this point, many Madrid supporters had given up on overturning Atletico’s 1-0 lead, but Ramos never gives in.
Ramos showed the same desire in Austria in 2008 when he won the European Championship as a marauding right back with Spain; in 2010 in South Africa when he won the World Cup as a central defender; and again in 2012 when he won the European Championship for a second time.
With the Spanish Leagues, Spanish Cups, Spanish and European Super Cups and World Club Cup, there is nothing he hasn’t won.
[bctt tweet=”There is nothing Ramos hasn’t won.”]
You can’t forget that Ramos is a leader, which United have been missing since Ferdinand and Vidic left. If the 2014 Champions League final shows anything, it’s that leaders like Ramos can drag a side to success. If United want to get back to being Premier League champions, he will relish that mission.
Sergio Ramos has 128 caps for Spain, and he is only 29, marking him out as truly one of the best defenders of his generation. Many of his previous coaches love him because his pace means the team can defend high up the pitch. He has shown he can dominate in the air and his distribution from the back means possession is more easily retained; something that will definitely appeal to Louis Van Gaal.
Ramos has also played in defensive midfield. He did it twice last season in big games – to great effect against Atletico in the Champions League, but not so much against Juventus. The fact that Carlo Ancelotti preferred him there to midfielder Asier Illarramendi speaks volumes for how much the manager believed in his captain.
Ramos’ relationship with Ancelotti was excellent and part of the player’s current unhappiness comes from the decision to sack the coach who had led Madrid to their 10th European Cup. Ramos performs much better on the field when he has a good relationship with the coach. Mourinho infamously fell out with players in his final season at Madrid, and Ramos was one of them, alongside Iker Casillas and, eventually, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ramos has sometimes made costly decisions in games, charging out of position to make a rash challenge that will either cost a goal or earn him a red card. His disciplinary record is record-breaking. No one has been sent off as many times for Real Madrid. Of the 19 reds he has received, many have been frivolous and it’s unthinkable he would have been sent off so often by Premier League referees.
For Ramos, moving to Manchester United would be a great option. They are the one club in the world that can rival Madrid for status, wealth and history. Madrid don’t want to pay Ramos €10million (£7.15m) a season, but Manchester United would be willing to if it helped restore stability to their defence. If Sergio Ramos does move to Old Trafford in the summer, Manchester United fans can rest assured they would be getting a genuinely world-class player who would bring consistency to their defence once again.