We’d love to know who Sergio Ramos impressed in a past life, because between the generational footballing ability and the extremely dashing looks, it all feels a bit unfair.
At the age of 37, Ramos’ best years have passed him by, but he still continues to go strong at the top level of the game and is playing out the final years of his career as a genuine living football legend.
Legend doesn’t cut it, actually. He’s a complete anomaly. A freak of nature in every sense.
Sixteen star-studded seasons at the heart of Real Madrid’s defence saw him establish himself as not just the best defender of the 21st Century, but one of the very best players full stop.
Contributing to that legacy is of course his superhuman defensive abilities and the art of knowing how to get away with some of the most eye-watering ankle breakers you’ll ever see, his absurd trophy cabinet including five Champions League titles and a World Cup, his 100+ career goals and many winners – and of course his devilishly strapping looks.
The Spaniard is also one of the game’s very greatest showmen, and genuinely wouldn’t look out of place in a WrestleMania main event. He’s got the looks, the charisma and the athletic abilities.
We’re not here to celebrate his impending switch to professional wrestling, though.
Instead, we’re here to celebrate Ramos becoming the defender with the most goals in Champions League history (17) in the most textbook – yet equally asburd – style one could imagine.
If there was ever a minute or so of footage that best summarised his career on the pitch, it was the few minutes around his equaliser for Sevilla in their 2-1 defeat to Lens.
With the Spanish side a goal down and facing certain elimination from all European football, they were awarded a penalty with little over 10 minutes to go.
Naturally, their captain – and centre half – stepped up for the spot kick as he so often has throughout his career, but what followed was pure, unbridled, Zinedine Zidane-inspired chaos.
An inch-perfect Panenka.
😮💨 Scores a Panenka penalty
🤦♂️ Gets booked for kicking the goalkeeper
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) December 12, 2023
Get out. Just stop it. He’s a freak. The ice in his veins could not possibly get any colder.
Everything about it is so textbook Zizou, from the nonchalant figure Ramos cuts beforehand, to the very technique and flight of the ball as it loops into the roof of the net.
The 37-year-old then seals the deal on a moment that sums him up to a tee by flying towards goal to retrieve the ball with the game level, so desperate to start again for the winner that he simply wipes out the goalkeeper like a steam train.
Textbook is an understatement. He’s a complete nutter.
Unfortunately, despite setting the record for goals scored by a defender and clattering his opponent to try and rush for a winner, Ramos and Sevilla weren’t able to find it, instead conceding at the very death as Lens snatched a 2-1 victory.
It means Sevilla have been dumped out of Europe in their entirety and cannot even continue on their warpath of holding the Europa League hostage – music to the ears of Liverpool fans across the globe.
And while it’s without doubt a huge disappointment for the club and Ramos – who returned in summer after leaving in 2005 – there is at least one positive from their shock exit.
The Spaniard can now devote more time to getting tattoos, working on his already sickening six-pack and practising his promos in the mirror at home with a view to showing up and stealing CM Punk’s thunder at the Royal Rumble next year.
Never change, Don Sergio.
By Mitch Wilks