In an impromptu press conference held at the Real Madrid offices, Sergio Ramos announced he will finish his career at Real Madrid. Rumors were abound that the Madrid captain would depart this summer amid heavy interest from the Chinese Super League, but a meeting with club president Florentino Perez hashed out his future.
“I want to to end the doubts and debates that do not benefit the club or me or anyone else,” Ramos said to open his press conference. “I am Madridista. I want to retire here.”
The 33-year-old has made just over 600 appearances for Real Madrid since joining from Sevilla as a 19-year-old back in 2005. He was installed as one of four club captains in 2010 and made permanent captain in 2015 after the departure of Iker Casillas. He confirmed that an offer from China came in and forced him to consider his future.
“It is true that I have an offer from China on the table, I will not lie about it,” Ramos said during the press conference, before looking to play down the significance of the money offered. “The wage does not matter to me. I would play for Real Madrid for free.”
“I told Perez of the offer from China, and [manager Zinedine] Zidane too. That does not mean I asked to leave for free.”
Ramos signed a six-year contract back in 2015 when he was made captain, meaning he is technically under club control through the summer of 2021. He looked to put to bed any rumors of a rift with Perez, saying, “I have never had an issue with the president. Our relationship is like a father and son.”
Reports from Spanish publication AS over the past 24 hours stated that Ramos met with Perez one-on-one on Wednesday and decided that the captain would stay. It was the second time the two had met in the last week, but first time they had been without any representatives in the room. It was reported that Perez was angry with Ramos for looking to leave before the expiry of his current contract. “There were things that caused me certain doubts and things that hurt me,” Ramos said during the press conference. “But when you speak face to face to resolve this it’s the best thing.”
Finally, Ramos said that if he does leave Real Madrid one day, it would be for a club that could not come up against Los Blancos on the pitch. “I told the president that I would never go to a team that could compete with Real Madrid,” Ramos said. “If one day I go then it is because I think my body will not allow me to give a high level and I would go to a team that did not compete with Madrid.”