BREAKING NEWS: Ramos joins Paris Saint-Germain after leaving Real Madrid

By Sports Desk July 08, 2021

Sergio Ramos has joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer after leaving Real Madrid.

The 35-year-old left Madrid on the expiration of his contract, having helped Los Blancos to five LaLiga titles and four Champions League triumphs during his 16-year spell in the Spanish capital.

Ramos, who wanted a two-year commitment from Madrid, claimed in June that he had belatedly accepted a one-year contract offer from the club, only for it to be withdrawn.

He has now joined PSG, linking up with mooted Madrid target Kylian Mbappe and former Clasico rival Neymar in Paris, with the centre-back signing a two-year deal.

Ramos may well fill the void left in PSG's defence by Thiago Silva's departure to Chelsea in 2020, with Presnel Kimpembe putting in some erratic displays last term, while Thilo Kehrer and Abdou Diallo have also failed to step up, putting the onus firmly on Marquinhos to perform.

 

Having missed out on the Spain squad for Euro 2020 following injury trouble, Ramos will be hoping not only to help Mauricio Pochettino's team claw back the Ligue 1 title, but also push on in the Champions League as the club look to break their duck in the competition.

Ramos not only brings defensive nous and experience – he helped Madrid to 206 clean sheets – but he is the only defender to score 100 goals while playing in one of Europe's top five European leagues since the turn of the century.

The only players to outscore Ramos for Madrid in all competitions since 2000 are Cristiano Ronaldo (450), Karim Benzema (279), Raul (225), Gonzalo Higuain (119) and Gareth Bale (105).

His total of 101 goals is split between Sevilla and Madrid, though he only scored three times for the Andalusian club before his move to the capital.

Ramos played over 40 times across all competitions for Madrid in all but two of his campaigns at the club – his lowest tally of appearances coming last season, when he managed just 21 games, all of which were starts.

Related items

  • Messi magic 'awful' for Canada, but amazing to witness, says Marsch Messi magic 'awful' for Canada, but amazing to witness, says Marsch

    Lionel Messi continues to amaze Canada head coach Jesse Marsch after inspiring Argentina to victory in the opening game of the Copa America.

    World champions Argentina triumphed 2-0 over Canada in Atlanta, making an impressive start to their title defence in the tournament.

    Messi had a hand in both goals as Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez struck in the second half on Thursday.

    The Martinez goal saw Messi rack up his 17th Copa America assist. Since 2011, he has registered over three times as many goals created as any other player in the competition, with Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez ranking second on five each.

    Messi turns 37 on Monday, and has a stunning 20-year professional career under his belt, but that does not mean he does not continue to stun and surprise his opponents, including Marsch.

    Marsch felt his team did what they could to remain compact, but Messi, who created a game-leading five chances, proved the difference on his record-breaking 35th Copa appearance.

     

    The Canada boss explained the task of having to face Messi was amazing and awful in equal measure, with the forward having a massive impact even though the coach felt his gameplan to try and limit the Argentina star had been implemented reasonably well.

    "Yeah, with Messi we talked a lot about our compactness and then identifying the spaces that he likes to show up in," Marsch said after the game.

    "We talked about not diving in because it's hard to win tackles from him.

    "What happens is if you eliminate yourself or if you start diving in for tackles, he's really good slipping and moving and getting back again and making little final plays.

    "This is what I say about Messi: I have coached against him several times and I feel like we have had a good match plan and we have executed a lot of good things.

    "But he is so good, he is that good that he still makes plays. The two balls he makes on the two goals I think are world class. 

    "Amazing, it's awful. It's amazing."

    Inter Miami star Messi had a game-leading six shots, getting three of them on target, and also led the match for touches in the opponent's box (nine) in an all-action display.

    Despite the challenge of facing Messi, Canada captain Alphonso Davies felt his side should have done more to follow up on a battling first-half performance that meant the game goalless at half-time.

    "We have to change our attitude towards the game," Davies said to TSN.

    "The first half we played well, but in the second half we let every long ball bounce. 

    "It was a disappointing result, we need to look at everything we did wrong in the game and fix it as soon as possible."

    Argentina return to action against Chile on Tuesday, which is also when Canada will hope to pick up their first points of the campaign against Peru.

  • More Copa America records go Messi's way as Argentina pick up where they left off More Copa America records go Messi's way as Argentina pick up where they left off

    Argentina picked up where they left off in the Copa America, with the holders kick-starting their title defence with a strong 2-0 victory over Canada.

    The world champions are expected to progress with ease from Group A, and they made an ideal start in Atlanta on Thursday.

    Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez got the goals, but it was of course Lionel Messi who was the main focus.

    Messi became the record appearance maker in the 108-year history of the Copa America, overtaking Chile great Sergio Livingstone by featuring in his 35th match at the tournament.

    The 36-year-old's superb tournament record stands at 22 wins, 10 draws and three losses. And he has one Copa title – a total he hopes will increase with another trophy on July 14.

    And while he could not get on the scoresheet, Messi, despite playing on a choppy pitch that has drawn the ire of Argentina, was as influential as ever for La Albiceleste.

    He will probably lament some unusually profligate finishing - at least by his high standards - as the reason why he didn't mark his record-setting appearance with a 14th Copa America goal (he is, as it stands, four off the all-time leading goalscorers in the competition, Norberto Mendez and Zizinho).

    Messi had a game-leading six shots, getting three of them on target, with those attempts accumulating an expected goals (xG) value of 0.79 - a total bettered by only his team-mate Martinez (0.8).

    The Inter Miami star led the match for touches in the opponent's box (nine), and big chances (two) in an all-action display.

     

    Canada's goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who like Messi plays in MLS, was also on form, making six saves.

    But what Messi lacked in his finishing, he made up for in creativity.

    His total of five chances created led the match, and was at least two clear of any other player on the pitch. He was nine ahead of next-best Rodrigo de Paul for passes in the final third, with 27, and attempted six dribbles, albeit only completing one of them.

    It was Messi's pass that released Alexis Mac Allister, who was then wiped out by Crepeau only for Alvarez to tuck home Argentina's 49th-minute opener.

    And it was Messi who put through substitute Martinez to round off the victory late on.

    That was Messi's 17th assist at the Copa America, with his first assist in the competition coming in 2011.

    Since then, he has registered over three times as many assists as any other player in the competition, with Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez ranking second on five each.

    It also saw Messi reach 50 direct goal involvements in official competitions for club and country on U.S. soil (30 goals + 20 assists).

    His figure of seven line-breaking passes, meanwhile, was more than double that of any other player in Thursday's match.

    Argentina can reasonably reflect that they should have scored more, an ominous sign for their upcoming opponents. They had nine big scoring chances (according to Opta's definition) against Canada, the most for La Albiceleste in a single game since 2013, and accumulated 2.98 xG. 

    Messi was at the heart of it all, but it was not a case of him having to do it all on his own.

    De Paul was impressive in midfield, while in Alvarez and Martinez, Messi has an excellent supporting cast for this year's competition.

    At 24 years and 142 days, Alvarez is the youngest player to score in both the World Cup and the Copa America since Jose Maria Gimenez did so for Uruguay in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Martinez, meanwhile, has scored in four of the last five matches he has played in the Copa America, striking in this match against Canada to follow up goals against Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia in 2021. The only exception in that run was the final in 2021 against Brazil.

    The Inter striker might have to settle for a back-up role at this tournament, but it's now three goals in his last two matches for his country, and he could be a contender for the Golden Boot.

    Argentina should be confident of a deep run. They should really go all the way.

    They are the best team in the world, after all, and Lionel Scaloni has, by some distance, the best squad in the competition at his disposal, what with Brazil missing stalwarts Casemiro, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison, as well as their talisman Neymar, even if Vinicius Junior is an excellent alternative.

    That being said, this is the first time under their coach that Argentina have won their opening match of a major tournament, having slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the 2019 Copa America, drawing 1-1 with Chile in the same competition two years later, and then losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia at the 2022 World Cup.

    This time, they have got off on the right foot. Upcoming matches against Chile and Peru should not prove tough hurdles to navigate, especially not with Messi already clicking through the gears.

  • Scaloni and Martinez hit out at Atlanta pitch after Argentina win Copa America opener Scaloni and Martinez hit out at Atlanta pitch after Argentina win Copa America opener

    Lionel Scaloni and Emiliano Martinez criticised the state of the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium after Argentina's 2-0 Copa America win over Canada.

    Goals from Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez got the job done for the reigning continental and world champions in Atlanta on Thursday, in the tournament's opener.

    However, the state of the playing surface was a big issue, with the turf notably chopping up.

    Mercedes-Benz Stadium is used for both NFL games - it is the home of the Atlanta Falcons - and MLS, with Atlanta United playing their home matches there, but Scaloni was deeply unhappy with the preparation of the pitch, with an artificial surface having been replaced by grass on the eve of the Copa America.

    "The start looked like the match with Saudi Arabia [at the 2022 World Cup], with the difference that we played on a more decent pitch that time," Scaloni told reporters.

    "With all due respect, thank goodness we won. Otherwise, it would have been a cheap excuse.

    "We have known for seven months that we are going to play here and they changed the turf two days ago.

    "It is not good for the show. It is not an excuse, the stadium is beautiful and with synthetic turf it must be spectacular, but with today's turf it is not suitable for this kind of players."

    Scaloni's sentiment was echoed by goalkeeper Martinez, who told TyC Sports: "Coming here against a strong Canada, with good forwards and on a field that is a disaster made it a little difficult for us.

    "We have to improve in that aspect. Otherwise, the Copa America will always be at a lower level than the European Championship."

     

    Argentina captain and talisman Lionel Messi became the record appearance maker in Copa America history, overtaking Sergio Livingstone by playing in his 35th game at the tournament.

    While he could not mark the milestone appearance with a goal, Messi did tee up Martinez's effort late on, with that assist his 17th in the Copa America.

    "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew that Canada was going to be a hard team to go against," Messi told FOX.

    "They were physical, very physical. In the first half, there was little space. It was intense, physically intense and strong and then in the second half we were able to progress and get better."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.