Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos had been making headlines this week after reports surfaced that he will leave the La Liga giants for a big-money move to the Chinese Super League. Howver, to much relief for Madrid fans, the defender has clarified that he wants to stay at the club and retire there.
The Spanish club has had a lowly season following the departure of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo last summer. The prospect of losing Ramos would have come as a major blow for the Zinedine Zidane-led side at a time when their main focus is on rebuilding.
“There has been too much speculation about my future and I wanted to reiterate my commitment to the club,” Ramos told the press at the Real Madrid facilities in Valdebebas on Thursday.
“I have no intention of leaving the club and wish to retire here,” he added.
The first team captain arrived at Real Madrid in the summer of 2005 as the first signing by Florentino Perez after he was elected the club’s president.
“The relationship with Florentino is father-son and of course that dynamic can have moments of conflict too,” Ramos said. “But like any relationship, it does have some ups and downs.”
He also said that reports in the media had annoyed him and were the reason for him calling the press conference.
Rumors about Ramos’ departure had said it was because of money.
“We haven’t discussed money and my intention is to talk about this in a frank manner with the president,” he said.
“There is an offer from China and if I didn’t feel wanted then it’s an alternative, but at present, my deal is with Real Madrid and my plan is to see out my contract.
“There has been too much speculation and I wanted to clear this matter up.”
Ramos said he wanted to help rebuild the team with the club’s president.
“My intention is to construct a new Real Madrid with the president and start to look to the future,” he added.
“I still have the physical strength to play for the club.” “When the time comes to move on I’ll do so but in a place where I never have to face Real Madrid,” Ramos continued.
“It’s important that I feel wanted here at the club by the fans, teammates and of course the president.”
He said that the team’s 4-1 defeat to Ajax in the UEFA Champions League this season caused a lot of tension among the squad and fans and added that “it was a time for us to reset things.”
Ramos has lifted four LaLiga cups with Real Madrid and four Champions League trophies.
At an international level, he won the 2010 FIFA World Cup as well as two UEFA Euro titles in 2008 and 2012.
(With IANS Inputs)