Most athletes may not think about it every game, but setting records always sits in the back of their mind as a goal. It usually requires greatness to set records, and every player wants to be great. Some records, however, aren’t necessarily the good kind. Sergio Ramos is a world-famous soccer star. Despite all his achievements during a storied career, he holds one record he can’t possibly be proud of.
Sergio Ramos career overview and playing style
Sergio Ramos plays for Real Madrid, one of the top clubs in La Liga, the Spanish football system. He’s currently in his 17th season, having played for Real Madrid since 2005.
Ramos is a defender who has played center back for most of his career with a few appearances at right back sprinkled in at the beginning of his run with Real Madrid.
That’s an often-overlooked position that doesn’t get the acclaim of scorers like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s also his club’s captain and longest-tenured member.
Below are just a few of the accomplishments he’s amassed over his long and industrious career at Real Madrid:
- 462 appearances
- 456 starts
- 39,892 minutes
- 61 goals
- 26 assists
- Nine penalty kick goals
- 879 fouls committed
- An average of 0.14 goals per 90 minute
- Four-time La Liga champion
- Four-time UEFA Champions League champion
- Eight-time UEFA Team of the Year
Quite simply, Ramos is known for being one of the best defenders in the world.
The record Sergio Ramos holds
Sergio Ramos has a terrific resume and is rightfully regarded among the best defenders of all time. He plays for one of the world’s most high profile team and he plays well. That said, there’s one record Ramos holds that he’s likely not very proud of:
“Ramos has picked up more cards – be it yellow or red – than any other player in the history of La Liga, the Champions League, and the Spain national team: 171, 36 and 20, respectively. Overall, he has been brandished with 274 during his career. The defender’s La Liga total not only sees him lead the way in Spain, but across all of Europe’s major leagues.”
A Track record for being carded
No La Liga player has ever had a higher ratio of cards to matches. Ramos averages a card every 2.3 games. In other appearances, Ramos totals dip slightly. He averages one card in every three Champions League match and one in every seven international appearances.
He has never been sent off while playing for the Spanish national team but has garnered 20 ejections in La Liga. Ramos has finished five La Liga campaigns as the season-leader in red cards.
Ramos gets carded so often that according to speculation covered in Deadspin, he may have strategically gotten a yellow card intentionally in one Champions League round of 16 match:
“Why would Ramos do this? Once you get three yellow cards in the Champions League, you are automatically suspended for a game. With the Ajax match-up seemingly under control…Ramos decided that grabbing a yellow card now and missing the return leg would be better than potentially missing out on one of the quarterfinal matches, should Madrid hang on to its lead. It would also “clear” his yellow cards, allowing him to pick up two more in the ensuing stages as needed without getting a suspension in a key match deeper in the tournament.”
As capable a defender as Ramos is, he’s just as capable at irritating the officials apparently. There may be hope for the veteran, however. While he has been carded this year, he did finish 2018 receiving zero red cards. This might be evidence that as he advances in years, Ramos is improving – at least slightly – in how he interacts with officials and other players.