Here are some facts and stats in honour of the Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos.
1. Sergio Ramos could have been a bullfighter if he were not a footballer: He has openly asserted his love for the sport, and he could have kept the tradition of his town alive but chose football instead because his mother was scared of the consequences.
“When you’re young, it is important to have dreams,” he told AS. “I always wanted to be either a bullfighter or footballer but my mother was a little scared of me becoming a bullfighter. So I opted for football which was less dangerous.”
2. Carlo Ancelotti had the intention of deploying him as a forward at some point of time: Following Ramos’ goalscoring heroics, the former Real Madrid boss stated in a press conference that he would have liked to field Ramos in the centre-forward position, but had not given in to the temptation.
3. Loves flamenco and is a talented guitarist: He will go down as one of the greatest defenders to have played the sport, but Ramos is also a great off-field performer. He also once surprised his then-girlfriend Pilar Rubio on the sets of El Hormiguero, a Spanish TV show-with a guitar and song. He has admitted that he quite the romantic, the most romantic of all his siblings. He is also a big fan of the flamenco dance and has even played professionals like Nina Pastori and Canelita.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) March 30, 2017
4. Loves Horses: Ramos is also a keen horse-aficionado; he has a stud farm to his name in his native Andalusia, dedicated to the breeding of the Andalusian Horse.
He insists that he has ‘many years left’ in football, as he celebrates his 31st birthday today. Ahead of Spain’s friendly against France, Ramos told a news conference: “I am in the middle of my career.”
“I have many years left at a good level. Each season I reset myself to start from scratch, not settling for what I have already won. As long as I continue to want to win, both in the national team and in the club, I will continue playing. I hope it is the longest possible time—I see retirement far in the future.”