The club’s captain will say his final goodbye , 13 days before his contract formally runs
out. Unable to reach an agreement with the club president, Florentino Pérez, to continue,
Ramos becomes a free agent on 1 July.
Although he is 35, he has no intention of retiring and the centre-back’s final destination
is still not finalised, with reports linking him to a catalogue of clubs including Paris
Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Sevilla.
Although the news came as no real surprise after months in which negotiations over a
new deal had come to a halt and, with Ramos’s relationship with Pérez a difficult one all
too often played out in the press, Madrid’s announcement on Wednesday evening still
had a huge impact.
In May 2019, Ramos had said that he “would play for Madrid for free” but he had wanted
a new two-year deal on the same €15m salary, minus a 10% reduction applied across the
squad because of the coronavirus crisis. Real would offer only a single year, and recently
signed David Alaba on a free transfer from Bayern Munich. One last round of talks
between Ramos and Pérez this week failed to break the deadlock, if indeed there was ever
rally any intention of doing so.
Only Paco Gento has more winners’ medals with the club than Ramos, who joined Madrid
from Sevilla for €27m in 2005, aged 19. He was the first Spanish signing made by Pérez,
going on to win 22 trophies with the club, as well as the World Cup and two European
Championships with Spain. A hugely charismatic figure, his most significant moment was
the goal he scored in the 2014 Champions League final against Atlético Madrid with the
clock on 92.48. That header rescued his side, took the game to extra time and allowed
Real to secure their long‑awaited 10th European Cup.
Ramos’s career at the Bernabéu has come to an unexpectedly flat end, injury allowing
him to make just four appearances in 2021 and leading to him being left out of the Spain
squad for Euro 2020, at a time when he was closing in on an all-time record for
international caps. He has played 180 times for Spain and under 14 managerial spells at
His final game for the club turned out to be the Champions League semi-final defeat at
Stamford Bridge when he was not fully fit and subsequently sat out the rest of the
Ramos will be joined by Pérez at a Bernabéu farewell on Thursday.