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SOCCER

Sergio Ramos, year zero

The Spanish centre-back hopes he can convince Luis Enrique to include him in Spain’s World Cup squad. He seems to be over his injuries and adapting to a new system at PSG.

Update:
Sergio Ramos celebrates his goal against Nantes.
Icon SportGetty

Sergio Ramos has been one of the great protagonists of PSG’s pre-season. The Spanish central defender had a very difficult first season in Paris due to ongoing injuries but ahead of his second season, the former Real Madrid captain appears to have recovered his form of old thanks to a great performance that culminated in his goal in Sunday’s 4-0 Trophée des Champions victory against Nantes on Sunday.

After the game, Ramos acknowledged that he is now over the physical problems that kept out for much of last season. Now playing in a new system of three central defenders - very different from what he was used to at Real Madrid, the Spaniard seems to have put all of his physical problems behind him.

It still might be premature, but it looks like Ramos has earned a place in Christophe Galtier’s starting XI and the player dreams of playing in the World Cup. Galtier, who throughout his career has tended to stick with a 4-4-2 formation, has reverted to one with three centre-backs at PSG in which Ramos has played on the right side, covering full-back Achraf Hakimi. At times during the pre-season, there were doubts about his lack of pace, but Ramos looked sharp enough against Nantes and left an extraordinary performance which included a back-heel goal.

Back to his best

With just five days left before the new season kicks off against Clermont, Sergio Ramos is enjoying his best moment since he joined PSG a year ago. He has been consistent, strong in tackles and quick to provide cover, the Spanish defender is experiencing a sweet moment in a team that signed him precisely with the aim of winning the Champions League - a tournament which he didn’t get to play in at all last season. The Parisians signed him for his experience in the top continental competition, and hoping he can help them make amends for the setbacks the team has suffered during the last five years - setback which triggered internal crises and changes to the squad and coaching staff.

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