Real Madrid’s unexpected European exit has freed up some space in Sergio Ramos’ schedule, which could be a great opportunity for the Spaniard.
With the exception of Real fans, the whole world was roaring Ajax on to pull off their miraculous shock win and dump the Merengues out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Of course, that was partly through the natural love of the underdog, a desire to see the game’s pecking order shift and other noble motivations – but most importantly the football neutral wanted to see the look on Sergio Ramos’s face.
Having pulled a Ramos special and picked up an intentional booking to clear his slate ahead of the next round, it was exquisite to see the defender realise his slate was being cleared for him while he could only sit, watch, swear and make some weird documentary content.
But now the dust has settled, surely Sergio will realise that this could be a blessing in disguise for him as it gives him the space to focus on his other great passions in life rather than having the hassle of away days with Manchester City and lifting trophies in front of adoring fans filling his diary.
While Ramos has managed to forge a great career as a footballer, his true passion has always been shithousery.
The job of defender allows him a good chance to pursue his first love, but he must now be wondering what kind of mean-spirited pettiness he could be capable of if he didn’t have to even pretend to be interested in the ball.
Freed from the obligation to spend a significant part of his Tuesday or Wednesday evenings making a ball shape with his hands at a stern referee, Ramos can prowl the streets in search of ways he can truly piss people off – while stopping just short of it being a criminal offence.
Residents of Madrid should be on guard for a 32-year-old man kicking at their heels as they go down the stairs, spilling their drinks at the bar, or pushing in front in the post office queue and then taking an age to post a single letter just to get a reaction.
If you thought Graeme Souness was an angry pundit, can you even imagine what Sergio Ramos would bring to the table?
Alan Hansen at his peak condoned some pretty robust challenges and lamented any lapse in defensive discipline, but Ramos would take that to a whole new level, criticising any centre-back not willing to hospitalise a pesky striker and ripping into a referee who has the audacity to book someone for a minor elbow to the face.
Even better would be watching Ramos in the commentators’ box at stadiums across Europe where he is absolutely despised by the home fans, which is pretty much everywhere.
Ramos was made to be a traffic warden. He could at least pick up a few freelance shifts on a Tuesday and Wednesday evening, imposing extremely strict parking regulations with an iron fist.
You can imagine running back to your car with minutes to spare before the parking elapses only to find your path blocked by Ramos, who then body-checks you and runs down the clock before whipping out the notebook and issuing a fixed penalty charge of £/€50.
Of course, every now and then Ramos would cross the line entirely and break into a car, let off the handbrake and then inch it into a ‘loading only’ zone, laughing maniacally as it gets towed away.
That guy at five-a-side
If Ramos starts to miss a kick-around on a mid-week evening, then why not sign up to a local five-a-side league?
While everyone hates watching him, there’s not a team on earth that wouldn’t love to have big Sergio slamming the opposition striker against the cage repeatedly, sparking a full-team brawl.
By the same token, it’s fair to say that your heart would sink somewhat to see Ramos doing his pre-match stretches while your pot-bellied teammates try and burp away their lunchtime pints.
He may be capable of running rings around everyone and netting 10 goals, but that wouldn’t be the Ramos way – he’d settle for scoring once and then playing keep ball with himself as the opposition get more and more frantic.