- Defender spent 16 years at the Bernabeu
- Took on new challenge in France
- Injuries stunted progress after 2021 move
WHAT HAPPENED? The legendary World Cup-winning defender called time on an iconic 16-year stint at Santiago Bernabeu when swapping the Spanish capital for its French equivalent in 2021. Ramos had made 671 appearances for Real, scoring 101 goals, and had helped the Blancos to five La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns. He was, however, to seek out a new challenge when linking up with Ligue 1 heavyweights as a free agent.
WHAT THEY SAID: Ramos has told UEFA’s official website of that decision: “Leaving Real Madrid was obviously a very big change. My goal is always to continue winning. I won a lot with Real Madrid, but I thought this was a good opportunity for a change of scenery … to try to help a team like PSG. Everything was very difficult at first. You have to find a home and settle down, especially when you come with a family, with four kids. The process was a bit tough at first, but everything has worked out.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ramos added on the testing start he endured to life in France, with injuries restricting him to just 13 appearances in his debut campaign: “At first, having taken that leap, everything went wrong. I got injured, had a hard time recovering and adapting to the new system, to the new team and new coach. You begin to doubt whether or not you've done the right thing. But my career has been defined by consistency, perseverance and hard work. You keep fighting and it will give things more meaning in the future.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Ramos is now fully adjusted to life outside of his homeland, becoming a key figure for PSG alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in 2022-23, and will be hoping to get his hands on more medals as the most ambitious of outfits set their sights on a historic Champions League triumph – with Bayern Munich next up in that competition at the last-16 stage.