Paris (AFP) – Sergio Ramos, the former loyalist of Real Madrid, considered one of the best defenders in the world, has signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain, the French club said on Thursday.
Ramos, 35, won the Champions League four times with Real and is world champion winner and twice European champion with Spain.
The veteran, who has won a European record with 180 national teams and scored 23 goals for his country, arrives desperately with PSG to add experience to their team for yet another attack on an elusive first Champions League title.
PSG’s sporting director Leonardo has also signed Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool and Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi from Italian champions Inter Milan, and the club has been closely linked with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is set to face Italy against England in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final. . .
The Qatari-owned club also hopes the significant investment will persuade French striker Kylian Mbappe to sign a new deal after 2022.
“It’s a big change in my life, a new challenge and a day I will never forget,” Ramos said in a PSG statement.
“I am proud to be part of this very ambitious project and to join a team with good players. It is a club that has already proven itself at the highest level with solid foundations. I will continue to grow with Paris and help the team win titles. ”
PSG hailed him as one of the world’s most decorated defenders and noted individual differences, including UEFA, which named him Europe’s best defender in 2017 and again in 2018.
– ‘Complete football player’ –
“Sergio is a complete footballer, one of the best defenders in history. He is a born competitor, a leader and a great professional, “said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who welcomed Ramos’ wealth of experience and his ambitions (which) are in perfect harmony with the club. ”
Ramos, who cut his teeth with Sevilla before joining Real in 2005, played nearly 500 league games for Los Blancos, defending their defense for 16 seasons and winning La Liga five times.
He also scored some notable goals – not least his equalizer in the 2014 Champions League final against city rivals Atletico.
Real went on to win 4-1 to claim their tenth win of the competition and Ramos remained a cornerstone on the side as they made it to four continental titles in five seasons between 2016 and 2018 under French coach Zinedine Zidane.
Ramos was remarkably consistent across his 16 seasons at the Bernabeu, with knee-jerk surgery in the middle of his final season last season, his only long absence throughout that time.
This magic on the sidelines ended a series of 31 appearances in a row in El Clasico against eternal La Liga rivals Barcelona, and overall, Ramos would only play 21 matches for Real in his final season.
On June 16, Real announced he would leave.
Ramos will continue to wear his usual No. 4 jersey at the Parc des Princes, which he says has become “a part of me as a person as well as a professional.”
Ramos started at his hometown, Camas, just across the Guadalquivir River, at a pitch where there is now only dirt and wild flowers.
“When he was three or four years old, he was already kicking balls out on the field,” former Camas club president Juan Luis Angulo recently recalled.
The young Ramos continued to join Sevilla’s academy at the age of 12 and 17 knocked on the door of the first team before Real lured him away, still at the age of 19 for 27 million euros ($ 32 million).