Sergio Ramos to leave Real Madrid: 'End of an era' - the internet reacts to veteran's departure

By Ciaran VarleyBBC Sport
Sergio Ramos lifts the Champions League trophy, Cardiff, 2017.
Sergio Ramos will leave after 16 years and 22 trophies at Real Madrid.

After 16 incredibly successful years, Sergio Ramos is leaving Real Madrid. And people are losing it.

On what he described as his "most difficult day", Ramos gave an emotional farewell speech to the club on Thursday, breaking down into tears as he vowed: "I'll come back here one day, I'm sure. I want to say a huge thanks to Real Madrid, I will always carry you in my heart."

Since joining Real Madrid in 2005 Ramos has won 22 trophies at the Bernabeu, including five La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues. The 35-year-old veteran captain's contract expires at the end of June, however - and as he put it in Thursday's specially staged farewell event: "A wonderful stage is closing, one that has been unique in my life, but an exciting new chapter begins and I go into it with a lot of desire to show my quality for many years to come."

Ramos has been an integral part of an incredibly successful Galacticos era. He's racked up 671 appearances and scored 101 goals - which is a pretty decent return for a centre-back.

Among those goals, one of his most famous and important has to be the 93rd-minute equaliser he scored in the 2014 Champions League final, which helped Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid and get their hands on a record 10th European Cup - La Decima.

His purchase for the club looks like an absolute steal in hindsight.

It was such big news for Madrid that the club announcement accompanied news of its "institutional act of tribute" - Thursday's opportunity for that emotional parting of the ways.

Former team-mate Mesut Ozil has called him "the biggest legend in the club's history".

Ozil played with Ramos at Madrid between 2010-2013, winning La Liga in 2012.

He's not the only figure who thinks Ramos is the best centre-back of all time.

Some fans are totally distraught.

Real Madrid players Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo lifting trophy.
This is a strong reaction

After Madrid ended the season without a trophy and manager Zinedine Zidane left, this summer looks like a big changing of the guard at the Bernabeu.

Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.
Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in 2018

One fan thinks the club has an unlucky number.

Picture of Iker Casillas and Raul.
Not so sweet 16

Ramos is a controversial figure, of course, and not everyone (at least not fans of Barcelona) are so eulogising.

Picture of Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos.
No prizes for guessing who this fan supports

Meanwhile, talk will now turn to where he might end up next.

We somehow don't see that Barcelona transfer happening…

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