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Ramos, the Spanish patient who makes PSG impatient

Ramos, the Spanish patient who makes PSG impatient

It won’t be against Angers on Friday: star defender Sergio Ramos’s debut date for Paris SG remains an enigma, as does his ability to regain his best level at 35, due to a series of injuries.

Since his signing in July, the former Real Madrid captain, who arrived in Paris free, has not played a minute with his new team.

But, his shirt with the No. 4 has a privileged place next to that of Lionel Messi in the windows of PSG stores.

Therein lies the paradox of his first months in Paris: although his popularity remains intact, his sporting contribution leaves much to be desired.

PSG hoped he could make his debut in early September, but persistent left calf problems, and a relapse, postponed his return to competition.

“We hope he will be back as soon as possible, but at the moment we cannot say when,” coach Mauricio Pochettino said in early October.

– No call from the Red –

Before the game against Angers, he continues training separately, awaiting his integration to the group sessions.

“Sergio Ramos will continue individualized training under the control of the medical team for ten more days, with the aim of his return to collective training,” the club announced on Thursday, confirming the absence of the defender for the ‘Clásico’ in Marseille, the October 24th.

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The reassuring statements of the player at the beginning of July – “I have recharged the batteries physically and mentally. I feel very good »- they fade in the face of the doubts that surround him.

At 35, the international of 22 trophies with Real Madrid and nearly 900 games as a professional since its inception in 2004 is going through an unprecedented drop in activity: in 2021, he has only played seven games.

“At his age and with his career, it is understood that his body may be tired,” explains fitness trainer Xavier Frezza to AFP.

The last appearance of the Andalusian dates back to May 5, 2021 in the semifinal round of the Champions League lost against Chelsea in London (2-0), which eliminated the merengue club.

The context was already difficult for Ramos with repeated injuries (thigh, calf, hamstrings), Covid-19 (contracted in April), and the failure of negotiations to extend his contract at Real Madrid, his home for 16 years.

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Enough to feed the thesis of the decline of a player that the Spanish coach Luis Enrique did not summon for the last European Championship, despite the fact that Ramos has participated in all the Red campaigns since the 2006 World Cup.

“Perhaps the reality of Sergio Ramos is different from that of 2014, or that of Messi and Neymar,” admitted Pochettino in a recent interview with the Movistar + platform.

“I have no doubts that he will be able to find his best level again and it is clear that for every player, in this case Sergio, it is not a pleasant situation, after not being able to train with his teammates for so long,” he said. Thursday the Argentine coach.

But he is mentally strong. He is taking it in the best way and logically the entire medical team and the entire club are helping him to stay there high, with the motivation he has to overcome this problem, “added Pochettino.

The prolonged absence of the Andalusian has deprived the coach of insurance in his central defense, where Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe have chained matches without resting.

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– Experience –

‘Poche’ has also lost time in the search for the best tactical balance to make the ‘MNM’ play, the offensive trident formed by Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. With Ramos, PSG could consider playing with three behind.

Last summer, Eric Rabesandratana, a former PSG defender, said he expected a lot from the arrival of Ramos: “His experience, his way of being on the pitch will make others greater. He has not won so many titles by chance, “added the now Radio France contributor Bleu Paris.

Even if Ramos returns to training with the team, we will have to wait to see him in top form, says Xavier Frezza: «To have a consistent rhythm, it takes a minimum of three weeks. A month or month and a half to be 100%.

Furthermore, “injuries to the calf are always delicate. There are usually relapses. It is a muscle required by jumps, accelerations … », he explains.

Time is running out for Ramos, one year away from the Qatar-2022 World Cup, but the player may have one last surprise in store, he who built his legend with goals in added time. AFP (HN)

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