It has been a hard week at Real Madrid but Sergio Ramos has responded by putting the club on his back.
Far from hiding from the situation, the captain stepped forward to protect the dressing room against Florentino Perez and gave a stirring talk to his teammates in the absence of any club delegates or coaching staff.
In a time of crisis, Ramos has made it clear that he is more than a captain for this team.
He questioned the president’s direction
Ramos was very hurt after the 4-1 defeat to Ajax, but it didn’t stop him from responding to Florentino when the president berated the dressing room, but the defender reacted by criticizing the summer’s planning, or lack thereof, saying “you let the patient die”.
But after the fight Ramos addressed the squad himself and didn’t hold back. He was critical of his teammates and encouraged all to pull together for what remains of the season.
He recommends and ‘vetoes’ coaches
Ramos was key to Julen Lopetegui getting the job last summer, just as he seemed vital in Antonio Conte not being appointed after the ex-Spain boss’s sacking, expressing publicly that he was not in favour of a coach like Conte arriving.
The club are also aware that he is not supportive of the idea to bring back Jose Mourinho, which could impact on their decision.
By addressing the squad as he did on Thursday, Ramos showed leadership traits and he posed as the coach when Santiago Solari was not around, becoming the team’s great motivator.
He leads the squad to Valladolid
Ramos cannot play this weekend due to suspension, but the captain will be by his teammates’ side in an attempt to contribute and help wherever possible.
Perez will also be with the team during the trip and it will present the pair with the opportunity to settle their differences, which they have been able to do a number of times previously.
He controls what leaves the dressing room
The captain has acted as a spokesperson for the squad and in recent weeks he has been a figurehead, owning up to the poor form and facing up to difficult questions about the defeats against Barcelona.
Ramos is also concerned about what information exits the dressing room and is wary of what some of his teammates might say, particularly in light of his bust-up with Perez after the Ajax loss.