By Temisan Amoye
Real Madrid and Spain legend Sergio Ramos has announced his departure from Los Blancos after a 16-year stay at the club.
Madrid confirmed there would be a tribute to the 35-year old whose contract expires on June 30th. It was reported that Ramos was in line to sign a new contract extension, but negotiations stalled.
A 19-year old Ramos arrived from Sevilla in 2005 and inherited the number 4 shirt from veteran Fernando Hierro.
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In a tearful press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ramos said: “I arrived on the first day with my father and my brother, I was 19, just a child and now I’ve got an amazing family of my own, a wife and four kids,” he said in a speech to club officials and employees.
“I arrived here with my family and I leave with my family, who’ve always been there for me. Thanks to them for always being with me in the highs and lows, to everyone else for the respect and for sometimes just putting up to me.
“To the president [Florentino Perez], my coaches and team-mates, without you it wouldn’t be possible. Also the employees of the club. It’s hard not to look at you and swell up with emotion.
“I also want to thank the supporters, unfortunately it’s not possible for you to be here. You’ll always have a place in my heart.
“I hope the club continues to enjoy success. This has been a unique experience, I won’t experience anything similar, but I am looking forward to another chapter in my life.
“I want more titles and I look forward to playing for more years. This is not a goodbye but see you soon, because I’ll be back one day.”
Ramos won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, four Spanish Super Cups , three European Super Cups and four FIFA World Club Cup titles, and an impressive four Champions League titles, winning three in a row.
Unfortunately, Ramos’s 2020/2021 season with Madrid was blighted by injuries, making just 15 La Liga appearances, making it dificult to put on a show for potential suitors.
With Spain boss Luis Enrique opting to leave out the defender from his Euro 2020 squad, citing lack of form and fitness.