MADRID (Reuters) - Sergio Ramos has vowed to stay at Real Madrid until he retires after lifting his fifth La Liga title with the club and at 34, having played as big a role as anyone in their latest triumph, he is showing no signs of slowing down.
Real’s captain since Iker Casillas left in 2015, Ramos has scored a career-best 10 goals this season, including five in Real’s relentless run of 10 consecutive wins since the season resumed.
Yet even as he has committed himself more in attack, he has managed to mostly iron out the haphazard elements of his defensive game that sometimes prove to be Real’s undoing, instead marshalling the best back line in Europe.
He has even avoided receiving any red cards in the league this season, no small feat for La Liga’s most sent off player of all time.
Ramos’ pivotal role in Real’s first title since 2017, sealed on Thursday when they beat Villarreal 2-1, must have felt all the sweeter after last year’s catastrophic season.
Then his side finished 19 points behind champions Barcelona and the defender was repeatedly caught out.
His wayward form led to more uncertainty about his future with one-year remaining on his contract but that question has been settled.
“Ramos will be here for the rest of his life, everyone can relax,” said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
“He is much more than a captain, he has been incredible as a leader. The team has unbelievable team spirit and that is all down to him.”
The title was the 22nd trophy Ramos has lifted with Real since joining from Sevilla in 2005 and, along with team mate Marcelo, he is one more piece of silverware from matching Paco Gento as the player to have won the most trophies with the club.
Given his desire to stay, it is an achievement well within his reach.
“I will stay as long as the president wants me because I love it here,” said Ramos.
“Everyone knows that I want to end my career here and I’m relaxed about it because I don’t think the club or me will cause any problems.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis