The centre-back is vociferously disliked in his home province, owing to what he claims is misinformation
Sergio Ramos has opened up on his relationship with hometown side and former team Sevilla, admitting that he has been left emotionally pained by the fallout from his move to Real Madrid.
The veteran centre-back swapped his boyhood club for Los Blancos in 2005, where he has enjoyed near-unparalleled success at domestic and continental level, as well as World Cup glory with the Spanish national team, who he captains.
But the manner of the defender’s depature from Andalusia has left its marks on the psyche of both the player and his old stomping ground, with both Ramos and Sevilla pointing the finger at the other for his exit – but the former admits that the latter remains in his heart despite all the “lies”.
What has Ramos said?
“I know what Sevilla is and how the fans feel,” the centre-back stated in his Amazon documentary The Legend of Sergio Ramos. “Nobody can tell me, because I’ve experienced it since I was young.
“All of the information was manipulated, and they lied to Sevilla. It was painful, not only for me but for my family. I’ll never forgive them for the pain my grandparents went through, for my parents, who cannot return to Sevilla’s stadium.
“I’ve made mistakes in my life and one of the biggest was not coming out publicly to explain [the move]. I let others tell the story for me.
“My signing was fully agreed between the clubs; it wasn’t Real Madrid meeting a clause, as it was said to have been. That meant the fans didn’t give me the same affection that I’ve always had and always will have for the club.”
How Ramos’ departure unfolded
Having enjoyed a superb breakthrough season with Sevilla in 2004-2005, Ramos was widely expected to be the cornerstone of the club’s future, with talk abounding of him signing a “lifetime contract” to keep him on the books.
But reported demands for a higher salary fell on deaf ears, before Madrid – busy constructing a big-budget squad under Florentino Perez’s stewardship – moved in with a major offer for the player.
Accounts have subsequently been conflicted on whether club president Jose Maria del Nido sanctioned the move against Ramos’ wishes or whether the defender pushed for the deal, but the end result saw him depart for the Santiago Bernabeu.
In the wake of a similarly botched exit for Jose Antonio Reyes, supporters turned their ire on Ramos, ensuring that every time he returned to his boyhood club, he was met with hostility, an atmosphere that he says meant his family was unable to attend games at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
With hindsight, Ramos admits that he wishes he had been more open on his departure, but that he has no regrets over making the move to Madrid when he did.
“I’d make the same decision a thousand times over, but I’d never let anyone tell the story that was told at the time,” he added.
“To this day I can always say that I’ve played for Sevilla and that I’ll always be a Sevilla player until I die, but I can also say proudly that I’m Real Madrid and Spain captain.”