SportsRamos-Neymar, alliance for the Champions League

Ramos-Neymar, alliance for the Champions League

Neymar and Ramos greet each other after a Real Madrid-PSG Champions League in November 2019.Rodrigo Jiménez / EFE

Sergio Ramos disembarks at PSG for the next two seasons. In the absence of the formal announcement, a news item in which it was said that the Spaniard will wear number four was accidentally published on the club’s website and the signing was confirmed.

A week after his final departure from Real Madrid, the central defender found in Paris the destination that, at 35, fulfills his current ambitions. Due to the extension of the contract (the white club only offered him one more campaign), the complicity with several of the players that he will find in the dressing room, the great European obsession of the team and the magnetism of the city, the pieces have fit quickly to the Sevillian. Once out of the Bernabéu after 16 years as a target, his sporting, personal and family aspirations have converged in the French capital.

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His arrival at PSG makes the Parc des Princes the scene of several stories. For his reunion with old colleagues and even friends (Keylor Navas and Ángel Di María), for his alliance with the star with whom not so long ago he winked at the possibility that their paths would join in Real Madrid (Neymar) , or by his probable coexistence with the great desired of the merengue entity (Kylian Mbappé). A confluence of plots for which there will only be one objective, the Champions League, the only possible end after the enormous investment made in the last decade by the State of Qatar.

An element of attraction of the 35-year-old defender to Paris has been Neymar, a star about whom at the moment there are no doubts about his long-term continuity (he has a contract until 2025), something that cannot be said about Mbappé. Between the Brazilian and the Sevillian, a complicity was established in the summer of 2019, when the former did seek to leave PSG, especially Barcelona, ​​although with the option of Real Madrid in the shadows. In those hectic months, a channel of communication was opened between the two in which Ramos showed his sympathy for him to take the step of dressing in white. Neymar wanted another Champions League and the defender showed him the doors of the Bernabéu as a favorable place for this type of company. That was not possible, neither was his return to the Camp Nou, but now the two meet in the Parc des Princes with the same aspiration. “Trying to add more titles to the track record,” stressed the central three weeks ago in his farewell to Madrid as the main objective in the new stage that began then, even without knowing that Paris would be his destination.

And in the French capital, with the League as an obligation rather than a goal, there is only one path to success: Orejona. With Navas, Neymar and Ramos, who already know what it is to lift it, PSG hope that the experience and knowledge of such a treacherous competition will help them reach the top for the first in the club’s history. That mission was also recently joined by one of those surnames that are not so well thought out, but that are so useful to open a path through the jungle, Georginio Wijnaldum, who already won it in 2019 with Liverpool. And young people like Achraf and, most likely, the meta Gianlugi Donnarumma.

The language of the booth

The Azzurra goalkeeper would compete with Keylor Navas, an old friend of Sergio Ramos, another reason that influenced the Spanish decision. A good friendship was woven between them in the five seasons that coincided in Valdebebas (2014-2019), as evidenced by the vacations that both and their respective families shared two summers ago in Costa Rica, just before Navas left. to PSG. But, above all, it was made visible by the support that Sergio Ramos gave the goalkeeper in his moments of greatest weakness.

Despite being the goalkeeper of the three consecutive Champions Leagues, the Tico was often questioned by the white leadership, who finally signed Thibaut Courtois in 2018. In this process of attrition, the central defender, in the role of merengue captain, he showed his support. The ancestry of the Costa Rican was great in that dressing room led by Ramos, so much so that Courtois recognized some time later that in the campaign he lived with Navas in Madrid (2018/19) he came to feel at first like a foreign body, conditioned by affection that his competitor woke up in the privacy of the booth, a situation that affected his performance. Only when the South American left for Paris did the Belgian feel free to improve under the sticks. Now, two years later, Ramos lands in Paris, also seduced by the presence of Navas.

And, apart from the more aristocratic names and the great sporting ambitions, other not inconsiderable factors have also weighed in, such as the family preference for Paris to the detriment of other large cities and the fact that the vehicular language in the booth is Spanish. . At the moment, in addition to Navas, Neymar and Achraf, there are also the Spaniards Sergio Rico, Pablo Sarabia, Ander Herrera and Rafinha, and the Argentines Ángel Di María, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi and coach Mauricio Pochettino. Even Mbappé handles the language.

A sum of small and great things that have led Sergio Ramos to the great pomp of Paris, home to a club full of stars and an orphan of the great title.

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