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Sergio Ramos explains contract dealings as he says 'goodbye' to Real Madrid

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-18 09:24
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Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the Spanish Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on Jan 12, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID -- Sergio Ramos on Thursday said 'goodbye' to Real Madrid after 16 seasons with the club in an online press conference.

Ramos appeared a day after the club ended months of speculation over his future when it communicated on its website that the 35-year-old captain would be leaving after 671 first team appearances, when his contract expires at the end of June.

"The first thing I want to say is that I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay here. The club offered me the possibility of extending my contract, but because of COVID-19, it was put on the back burner," he said, explaining that the conditions of the deal he was offered were changed.

"Then the club made me a one-year offer with a salary reduction," said Ramos, who said the problem with that offer was not economic.

"I wanted a two-year contract and peace of mind for myself and my family. During the last talks, I accepted the one-year offer, but I was informed that it was no longer possible, that it had an expiration date, which I hadn't been told about."

"It got to a point where we had to make a decision but they never told me that the offer had an expiry date. It's understandable but it surprised me," Ramos said.

Despite the disagreement, Ramos said his relationship with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was like "father and son", although he added "there are fights in families as well."

When asked about his future, Ramos responded that it would be "impossible" for him to ever play for FC Barcelona, but admitted that Sevilla, where he began his career was in his heart. However, he said he had "nothing on the table."

"We haven't thought at any time about any other club. Since January, when I've been on the market, we've had a few calls. But we never thought about leaving Madrid. From here we'll look for a good option for me," he added.

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