Real Madrid announces exit of Sergio Ramos after 16 years

Sergio Ramos is officially leaving Real Madrid after 16 years and four Champions League titles. Madrid have called a news conference for Thursday as “an institutional act of tribute and farewell to our captain Sergio Ramos.”

The 35-year-old defender has failed to agree a new contract and will leave as a free agent. Ramos missed much of the past season with injuries and was not selected by Spain for the European Championship.

What did Ramos say about the extension?

Speaking at a press conference, Ramos said: “ The first thing I want to say is that I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay here. The club offered me the possibility of extending my contract, but because of covid it was put on the back burner. 

“Then club made me a one-year offer with a salary reduction. I have to say that there was no economic problem. I wanted two years and peace of mind for me and my family.

“During the last talks, I accepted the one-year offer, but I was informed that it was no longer possible, that it had an expiration date and that I had not heard about it.”

He added on the specifics of the contract: The conditions have changed several times, on their part and on ours. 

“It got to a point where we had to make a decision but they never told me that the offer had an expiry date. It’s understandable but it surprised me, that the offer had expired.”

‘A person of integrity’

Ramos leaves behind an incredible legacy in Madrid, the 35-year-old having won five La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, four Supercopas de Espana, four Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and four Club World Cups.

“I’m one of those people who likes to be defined by others,” said. “If I had to use one word it would be purity. I have given my soul for this club. That’s how I want to be remembered, as a person of integrity.

Relationship with Perez

Despite the breakdown in communication over a contract extension, Ramos insists that he harbours no ill will towards club president Florentino Perez.

“My relationship with the president has always been good,” he said. “Like a father and son in sporting terms. He is the one who brought me here and I’ll never say a word against him. There are fights in families as well.

Next destination

“The important thing is not where you are, it’s with who,” said of where he might end up next season. “We haven’t thought at any time about any other club. Since January, when I’ve been on the market, we’ve had a few calls. 

He was a member of the Spain team which won an unprecedented title hat trick at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

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