Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League group B match at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, Seville, Spain.

Is that you, Thierry? Gabriel Jesus sent Sergio Ramos back to 2006 with his Sevilla masterclass

Sergio Ramos’ longevity in football is mind-boggling. Seventeen years have passed since the centre-back last lined up against Arsenal.

The Gunners were still playing at Highbury back then, FFS. Lining up alongside Raul Bravo in the centre of Real Madrid’s defence, Ramos helped keep a clean sheet in North London in a goalless draw.

Jens Lehmann, Jose Antonio Reyes, Gilberto Silva, Guti, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo Nazario and Raul were among the other names on the teamsheets that night. A reminder, if you needed one, that Ramos’ career belongs to more than one era.

The hard-fought 0-0 wasn’t enough for Los Blancos to progress in the Champions League, having succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie. That victory is forever etched into Arsenal folklore for Thierry Henry’s display, one of the greatest individual performances in the club’s history. Arguably the finest hour from their greatest-ever player.

Ramos was still a teenager back then. It was his debut season with Madrid, having moved for a €27million fee – back then a La Liga record fee for a defender – after an eye-catching breakthrough campaign with his hometown club Sevilla.

Having developed into one of the greatest defenders of his generation, that chastening night of being bullied by Henry stands as a curious touchstone of Ramos’ storied career. Few opponents not named Lionel Messi have given him the runaround quite like that.

Over 6000 days have passed since then. In that time, Ramos has lifted the World Cup and Champions League trophy four times, not to mention countless other silverware.

Now he’s back where it all began in Seville, lining up for his boyhood club and eager to build bridges with their fans after so many years as their adversary. He turned down a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia to return home.

And while he’s out of Spain contention and has suffered with injuries in recent years, Ramos remains a quality defender on his day. At the weekend, he rolled back the years with a lionhearted display to keep out Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham in a 1-1 draw with his former club.

Things have changed a bit at Arsenal in that time, too. Mikel Arteta has done well to lead the Gunners out of the wilderness years, building a side that can actually hold a candle to some of Wenger’s great teams.

Asking anyone to emulate Henry is a hell of an ask, but Gabriel Jesus stepped up and produced a display that will have given Ramos flashbacks to 2006.

The Brazilian’s assist for Gabriel Martinelli’s opener on the stroke of half time was outrageous. He singlehandedly took out four players – two with a superbly-executed turn, two with an inch-perfect through ball – to send his compatriot through on goal. Ramos was left in no man’s land, without a prayer of catching Martinelli.

The goal was arguably even better, as he turned inside and unleashed a brilliant shot into the top corner. Ramos, patrolling his six-yard box, was just a spectator.

“Well, that’s what we need. You need magic moments in big games, and you need the big players to step in and create those moments,” Arteta said in his post-match press conference, a line that just as easily could’ve been Arsene Wenger talking about Henry back in ’06.

“For sure,” Arteta added, responding to a question about whether his top-level experience was one of the key reasons Jesus was signed for the club.

“He has been through a lot in the last few years and he’s still really young.

“He has enormous experiences – some of them not the nicest but very necessary to be the player that he is today. I’m really happy to have him in the team.

“He came here for a reason. I think he changed our world. He brought so much belief and energy to that team, he needs to step in in those moments. He’s done that. That’s when a player becomes accountable for the team. Big games are for big players. He needed to produce those moments to win in a stadium like this. He’s done it for us in a really big way.”

Henry was consistently brilliant for Arsenal for eight years. It’s unlikely that the club will ever see his like again. But in Jesus they have a forward who, on his day, is capable of recapturing that brilliance. Just ask Sergio Ramos.

READ NEXT: Ranking every player to wear No.9 for Arsenal in the Premier League

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Arsenal’s top 30 goalscorers in Premier League history?