8th September 2005, the day Sergio Ramos signed for Real Madrid.
Florentino Perez deemed it a crucial signing for the future of the club, as he wanted his project to include the best Spanish players with the best players from around the globe, in a policy labelled Zidanes y Pavones.
Ramos would eventually arrive for €27 million, a then-record fee for a Spanish defender. And during his 15 years for Los Blancos, the 34-year old has become an icon for both club and country.
Since his unveiling, Ramos has won five La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League crowns, two Copa Del Rey trophies, and a host of others, accumulating 22 titles during his time at Madrid. Statistically, he’ll be known as a defender who impacts games at both ends, have scored 97 times and made 39 assists during his 650 games for Los Merengues.
And who can forget his most important goal for Madrid?
The clock in Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz read 92:48, Real Madrid were moments away from losing the Champions League final against city rivals Atletico Madrid, until, from a Luka Modric corner, none other than Ramos leaped the highest, got the perfect connection, equalising to take the match into extra time.
Moments like that confirm legacies, moments like that make you legendary. But Ramos transcends Madrid, because his impact and status for the Spanish national team is remarkable too.
This week, Ramos became the highest goal scoring defender in the history of international football with his 23rd goal, also making him the eighth highest scorer in La Roja history. He’s won the lot with Spain too, including two UEFA European Championships, and the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
Beyond the stats and silverware, Ramos is a leader, a man who personifies everything Real Madrid stands for, and that’s why we believe he should be offered a new contract, to keep him around during this transition – because his value is incomparable and irreplaceable to the club.
Did you miss the presentation back in 2005? Worry not. Sit back, and enjoy: