Sergio Ramos’ brother and agent, René, was photographed having lunch with Sevilla sporting director Monchi in the Andalusian capital on Tuesday afternoon. It could have been an innocent chat, of course, given René represents a couple of players on Sevilla’s books, but naturally it’s set the rumour mill ablaze that Ramos could be on the verge of making a sensational return to the club he left as a 19-year-old back in 2005. The source of that speculation will be explained here, and the proposed move will surely be a hot talking point on football betting sites in the UK for the rest of the summer.
Ramos is at loggerheads with Real Madrid, his current employers, over a potential contract extension. 35, his deal comes to an end this summer, and Madrid have already offered him a one-year extension with a slight pay-cut. The financial side doesn’t seem to be the problem; the length, however, very much is. Ramos believes that he’s done enough at the Santiago Bernabéu to earn himself the trust of a multi-year option, even as he does hit his more advanced years and suffers the injuries that accompany it.
One of the most divisive characters in football, he carries himself with a supreme confidence perhaps unmatched by any other player and has the record to back it up. Having captained Madrid and Spain, Ramos has won five La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, four Spanish Super Cups, four Champions Leagues, three European Super Cups, four Club World Cups, two European Championships and, of course, the 2010 World Cup.
Ramos left Sevilla after the then-president, José María del Nido, reportedly told him that an academy player would never be the highest earner at the club, a status Ramos was pursuing after breaking into the first team and becoming a Spanish international as a mere teenager. He’d spoken of being willing to sign a ten-year contract shortly before, but Madrid swooped in and took him to the Spanish capital, Ramos becoming the only Spaniard signed by Florentino Pérez during that first wave of Galácticos.
The success Ramos earned in the sixteen years since has been unquestionable. He’s become one of the most decorated and consistent figures with both Madrid and the Spanish national team, winning every title available to him. But if Zinedine Zidane leaves his post as Madrid coach this summer and the long-promised regeneration of the squad kicks off in earnest, might the time have come for Ramos to pursue another challenge?
Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the Andalusian, as have Manchester United. But a return to Sevilla would be intriguing. Sevilla have in these last two seasons established themselves as the fourth-best team in Spain, just behind the big three of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and, of course, Los Blancos. This season, they were in the title race right to the death, but ultimately failed in the biggest games; whether that’s the Champions League last 16 tie with Borussia Dortmund, the Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona or a pivotal La Liga clash with Athletic Club at the start of this month.
Ramos, Spanish football’s alpha-male, returning to his home city with a point to prove could be the fuel they need to hit the straps and ascend to the elite of the elite. He’d find fans still angry at the manner of his departure all those years ago, not to mention his behaviour since, at the Sánchez Pizjuán.
But if he could instil his will-to-win, intelligent gamesmanship and unmatched drive into Sevilla and inspire them to win a league title, it would be a remarkable end to an already mythical career. And after being left out of the Spain squad for the Euros, he would also look to bounce back and keep playing at the level required to compete for places in Spain’s World Cup squads for both 2022 and 2026, the latter of which Ramos is determined to compete in.