In defense of… Sergio Ramos?

OK.  First, if you mock the Biris Norte, you are an idiot.  You will be jeered for every remaining visit you ever have to the RSP, and you deserve that.  So, that’s a big strike against Ramos.  But doesn’t he have a valid frustration?

Why is he so hated and mocked by Sevilla fans when others such as Navas, Negredo, Rakitic, and Dani Alves have all been whole-heartedly cheered and celebrated whenever they come back to visit?  Ramos is from Andalucia, and I have no doubt that the whistles he hears from his fellow Andalucians whenever he comes to the Sanchez Pizjuan must tear him apart.  They must affect and upset him in a much more personal way than they would for someone like Negredo or Rakitic who both came here as established professionals and then blossomed in red and white before leaving.  We are a team that repeatedly ships out its stars, so what makes Ramos different?

 

I have to admit that I started supporting Sevilla in 2006.  So this was a full year after Ramos left us in the summer of 2005.  But he left in the off-season (not midseason) for a transfer fee of 27 million euros (the biggest transfer for a teen in history at that point).  That’s not a bad haul for our team.  To my knowledge, he didn’t force a last minute transfer, played hard until the last game in our jersey (a UEFA championship?), and has never said a bad word about the club or the region.  He played very well for us and, like most reasonable professionals, when the deal of a lifetime presented itself, he took it.  I have trouble faulting him for any of that.

Now, of course, there is Navas as a reference point: A player who grew up with and stuck with the team into his prime. And so, maybe we had some understanding and sympathy for Navas when he wanted to leave for Man City and take on a new challenge when he had already achieved so much with Sevilla.  But Navas also stayed uncharacteristically long because of his crippling homesickness.  He might have left much sooner if that hadn’t been a hindrance.

Fazio could be another comparison, and he was certainly not wholly embraced after his departure.  But that was because he forced his own transfer to Tottenham at the end of the transfer season and left the team in a bad situation (and also because he played like crap when he came back).

I think a big part of why people dislike Ramos is simply because he went to Real Madrid and not Barcelona or a team in England or Italy.  We pride ourselves here at Monchi’s Men for having great distaste for both Barcelona and Real Madrid.  But I think the truth is that most of us, and most Sevilla supporters in general, if forced to choose would admit that they prefer Barcelona a lot more than Real Madrid.  And Ramos, because he is a great player and one of the best center backs of the past decade, has been an absolute fixture for Real Madrid.  His longevity with the club makes him, after Cristiano, the face of that team.  And he has thrived in that role.

So, do we hate Ramos simply because we hate Real Madrid?  And is that fair?  If Barcelona or Juventus had desperately wanted a CB the year Ramos left and he never landed in Madird, does anyone here think we would be as hostile towards him?  Personally, I doubt it.

Anyway, this post is mostly just an invitation for thoughts.  I have some sympathy for a guy who seems like a true professional and gets villified by the town he’s from and still loves.  I don’t care much for Ramos.  But I don’t loathe him either.  At a minimum, I don’t dislike him for anything aside from the shirt he wears.

What do you all think? What am I missing?