Sergio Ramos may be leaving Real Madrid, but what he has achieved at Santiago Bernabeu is written indelibly into the club’s history.
One of the game’s biggest personalities, brimming with ego but boasting the quality to back it up, Ramos will end an era in white on Thursday.
Whatever explanation Ramos gives at his goodbye press conference, however twisted and taut the relationship between the defender and president Florentino Perez became at times, it does not sour his legend at the club.
Neither does the 35-year-old’s last year on the sidelines, even though this quiet farewell is not a fitting end to a blockbuster career in the Spanish capital.
And while the legend tag is often overused, for Ramos it may not even go far enough.
The Andalusian played for Real Madrid for 16 seasons, in a total of 671 games, scoring a remarkable 101 goals and lifting 22 trophies. Only Paco Gento (23) has more, winning those in the 1950s and ’60s. The six European cups he won cannot be compared to the four Ramos has lifted, which were achieved under far greater competition in the modern era.