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TOPIC: Sergio Ramos is Madrid's true talisman

Sergio Ramos is Madrid's true talisman 3 years 1 month ago #1838

  • kingman
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Real Madrid qualified for their fifth Champions League semi-final in succession after a gruelling, steadfast performance against an Atletico Madrid team that refused to die. It's widely accepted that the result offered a stay of execution for Carlo Ancelotti, but for all the talk of the role of the coach it was Sergio Ramos who stepped up to drag this side through to the last four, whether they liked it or not.

There should be no remaining doubt - Ramos is not only a fantastic defender, but also a superb footballer and a leader of men. At the age of 29 he has achieved everything in football twice over and were it not for Spain's underperformance at the World Cup in Brazil he would have been in consideration for the Ballon d'Or.

On Wednesday, against an Atleti team characteristically confident and abrasive in equal measure, he slotted into central midfield and gave as good as he got. He made more passes than anyone, was fouled more than anyone and consequently dished out more fouls than anyone. He was a force of nature and that's exactly what Madrid required to break their barren run of seven games without a win against a side that felt they had the measure of them.

Too often the negatives are highlighted with Ramos; his dubious disciplinary record and his penchant for play-acting (as witnessed in the Arda Turan dismissal) are flaws, no question. But every Madridista inside the Santiago Bernabeu and beyond was with him in every surge, slide and shout as he took the game to Atleti and stood up to their aggression head on.

Chicharito forced the ball over the line and Cristiano Ronaldo laid it on a plate for him. But the platform for victory came from Ramos, just as it had in the semis and final last season. He is Madrid's true talisman in this competition and he will excrete every ounce of sweat to take La Decima a single digit further.
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