Ramos ends United speculation
. . . as PSG unveil Di Maria
MADRID-REAL Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has ended speculation surrounding his future by signing a new five-year deal with the Spanish giants, the club confirmed on Monday. Ramos had been courted by Manchester United during a standoff in negotiations between his representatives and Madrid president Florentino Perez over the Spanish international’s salary with his previous deal set to expire in 2017.
However, the club said in a statement he will remain “tied to the club for the next five seasons.”
According to Spanish media reports, Ramos will earn up to 10 million euros a season.
United and Madrid have been locked in transfer talks all summer with Real still hopeful of landing Ramos’s international teammate David de Gea before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Ramos is now Madrid’s longest serving player having signed from Sevilla 10 years ago as a 19-year-old and will be club captain for the first time this season after Iker Casillas’s 18-year career at the Bernabeu came to an end when he joined Porto last month.
Despite holding an unwanted record as the Madrid player to have seen most red cards in the history of the club with a staggering 19 dismissals, Ramos is a hero amongst the Real support and is most fondly remembered for scoring the goal that saved Los Blancos from losing the 2014 Champions League final to local rivals Atletico Madrid.
His stoppage time header forced the game into extra-time where the white half of Madrid went onto dominate and run out 4-1 winners to complete his own personal repertoire of honours, which also includes three La Liga titles and two Copa del Reys as well as the World Cup and two European Championships at international level with Spain.
By committing to stay at the Bernabeu, Ramos has offered a huge lift to a Real side in need of a confidence boost ahead of the kickoff to the La Liga campaign next weekend.
Ramos was among a host of high-profile first-team players also including Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez who showed their discontent at the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti in May.
The appointment of Rafael Benitez as Ancelotti’s successor was met with scepticism by the vast majority of the club’s fans and Perez has unusually decided against the lavish signing of a “galactico” this summer, instead settling for a deeper and younger squad.
However, without the injured Ronaldo, Benitez’s men have struggled in pre-season, failing to score in four of their seven friendlies so far.
Madrid begin their league campaign away to newly promoted Sporting Gijon on August 23.
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria was presented to the Paris Saint-germain crowd on Sunday following his £46million move from the Red Devils.
The Argentine winger came on to the pitch at the Parc des Princes before the Ligue 1 champions’ match against Ajaccio.
Di Maria was well-received before kick-off, applauding the fans and showing his trademark heart celebration to the crowd.
However, as Angel di Maria’s move to Paris Saint Germain was confirmed, the mood amongst United supporters was far from the heartbreak you may expect when a club sells its record signing. In fact, there was an air of relief in the red half of Manchester as a saga that United will want to forget about quickly came to a close.
When talk first appeared several months ago about Di Maria possibly heading towards the exit door, most wrote it off quickly as a paper-seller from reporters and it seemed that the Argentine would continue at Old Trafford after a disappointing first season.
Having reiterated several times since then that he wanted to stay at the club and make his career in England a success, it’s easy to see why no one envisaged him playing in Ligue 1 this season. He sounded like a United player; resilient, determined and hungry for the ever-growing challenge.
But Di Maria has none of these qualities and had about as much fire in his belly as a limp noodle.
That’s why as his exit to France became more and more inevitable in recent weeks, it was met with anger towards the player and disappointment amongst the fans. He, unfortunately, could walk the walk but couldn’t talk the talk.
A man who reassured so many that he was to stay has soon after refused to join up for the pre-season tour, jetted off to PSG and took the easy way out.
He has moved from a huge, globally adored club with fiercely loyal fans to a French team which is only four years older than Ryan Giggs and has only become eminent in recent years due to huge Qatari funding – it’s as comical as it is baffling.
He’s gone from being the possible centre piece of an ambitious team to a weak league which is walked every year by one team. It’s not quite the player who assured everyone he relished a tough challenge. It’s at least one step down in quality and several in status.
Louis can Gaal revealed he “did not know” where Di Maria was after he did not catch his plane to USA to take part in the team’s tour. What a complete farce. It does seem to be an insight into the ridiculous world of a footballer — a figure who refuses to work for the institution that pays his astronomical wages, publicly supports him and, at the end of the day, own his footballing rights. — AFP
Flashback...angel di Maria, sergio Ramos and Pepe in Real colours