Sergio Ramos' frustrating 2021
Ramos' continuous injuries have made it the worst year of his sporting career despite a move to PSG this summer.
Seven games. That is the number of matches in which Sergio Ramos, 35, has played in since the start of 2021. A total of 446 minutes in which injuries, lack of consistency and his departure from Madrid have meant that, so far, this year, has been the worst of his sporting career, despite signing for PSG.
January 14, 2021 was Ramos' last 'normal' game this year. The Spaniard played all 90 minutes of the match that pitted Madrid against Athletic Club at La Rosaleda in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup, a game Athletic won 2-1. From that match onwards, Ramos' downward spiral began. Faced with constant discomfort in his left knee, the centre-back decided to undergo meniscus surgery in February. He spent two months on the sidelines before returning to the pitch on 13 March for a 2-1 league win over Elche. In that match, Ramos played 62 minutes. Little by little the Andalusian was accumulating minutes: 64' against Atalanta (3-1 win for Madrid) in the Champions League round of 16, 46 minutes in Spain's draw against Greece and just four minutes in Spain's victory over Kosovo.
And those games with the Spanish national team accelerated the bad spell ahead in Ramos' sporting year. The defender, who had not yet played a single game for Madrid since returning from injury, decided to join Luis Enrique's squad despite not being at his best physically. Of the three games Spain played in that call-up, he played 46 minutes in the first and in the second against Georgia (1-2 for Spain), Ramos did not play a single minute. For this reason, many were surprised that in the following match (31 March) he came on in the final minutes to become the most capped Spanish player in the history of the national team, with 180 appearances. The problem was that in those four minutes he got injured again, this time in the inner calf of his left leg.
A month after the match with the Spanish national team, Ramos returned to the pitch to face Chelsea in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals (Chelsea 2-0 Madrid). Zidane was surprised to see Ramos in the starting eleven after a month out of action. However, Ramos completed the ninety minutes, although not at the level he was remembered for. The man from Seville looked slow and struggled to stop the fast attacks of the English team. That was Ramos' last game for Madrid. It was a game that in no way sums up his 16 seasons as a Real Madrid player. In the remaining league games, Ramos did not play in any of them and in the last game of the competition, against Villarreal (2-1 win for Madrid) and of vital importance for the Madrid team as La Liga was at stake, despite being on the bench, Ramos did not play a single minute.
A busy summer
If the 2020/21 season was bad for Ramos, the summer period didn't get much better. On 24 May, Luis Enrique announced the list of players who were going to play in Euro 2020 with a major absence: Sergio Ramos, the captain of the national team, was not called up. Luis Enrique claimed that the centre-back was not in the best physical shape for the tournament, although for Ramos, it was a decision that still pains him.
After a year of wrangling with Florentino Pérez over a two-year contract extension, the defender announced on 17 June that he was leaving Madrid. It was news that shocked many. The centre-back said that at the last minute he had accepted the club's proposal but that Madrid had already withdrawn the offer. So, after arriving at the club at the age of 19 from Sevilla, Ramos' Real Madrid story was over. On 8 July, his move to PSG was made official.
No luck in Paris, yet
His arrival at PSG has not changed the course of 2021 for Ramos. After he had recovered from his injury, at the end of July, he was struck down once again, his fourth injury in 2021. Despite the team that PSG have put together this season, the former Madrid player has still not been able to make his debut with his new team-mates. PSG say that the defender "is making gradual progress with his recovery" and that he will return, if all goes according to plan, after the international break. That is to say, from 8 September.
This year has been the worst of the veteran player's illustrious career. Ramos wants to prove that he still has football in his boots and that he can return to his best. The centre-back wants to succeed at PSG and return to the Spanish national team. He is also aiming for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
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