We would all do well to remember the great man that was Ramires.
Ramires Santos do Nascimento dedicated five-and-a-half seasons to Chelsea, making 251 energy filled appearances and winning every possible major trophy on offer in that time. However, what could have been a far longer career at Stamford Bridge with an inevitable legend status waiting at the end for him, became a story of wasted quality when he became the first high-profile player to move from a top European League to China.
Despite his recent decline, he really was quite the player at Chelsea, and neutral fans would do well to remember that. Pacey and industrious with heaps of ability to boot, he was the ultimate box-to-box player – someone who could outrun the opponents ten times over and still have more left in the tank.
Ramires made him move to Stamford Bridge under Carlo Ancelotti in a typical World Cup inspired transfer, setting the club back the relatively small sum of £17million from Portugal’s most successful club Benfica.
If Chelsea were aware of the return they would get on their investment at the time of sale, then we are sure they would have tipped Benfica a pretty penny. Slow is not often a word we would associate with Ramires, but it is exactly how his career began with just 22 starts in the league, yet to become a permanent fixture in the team.
As far as seasons go, the 2011/12 one was fairly kind to the man Chelsea fans affectionately referred to as ‘Rambo’. While his form in the domestic competitions was something to behold, as he netted four times in six matches, including the opening goal in the final against Liverpool, the most memorable moment came during the famous Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
Gary Neville’s attempt at South American style commentary following the Torres’ decisive goal may still be ringing in the ears of fans in an endless nightmarish cycle, but so too should the image of the cheeky little chip Ramires sent over Victor Valdes to help Chelsea put one foot in the Champions League final.
Ramires played an impressive 62 times the following season as Chelsea barged their way through almost every competition. An incredible feat considering he started all but one of the Blues European fixtures as they claimed the Europa League for the first time in their history beating Benfica in the final.
Mourinho spelt the end for Ramires when he returned for the 2014/15 and after seeing his starting role annexed by new arrivals Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, he resigned himself to a big money move a season later, moving to China to join Jiangsu Suning in January 2016 for £25million.
Although his career in China started off relatively well with a goal in the opening three minutes of his debut, he suffered a pretty turbulent season in general – his most memorable moment of 2016 coming when he attempted to maul an official after receiving a red card.
By 2018 all had pretty much gone south for the Champions League winner who found himself relegated to the club’s reserves in July pending a possible transfer back to Europe with Inter Milan which never came.
Chelsea fans, what are your standout memories of Ramires? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!