Sergio Ramos has left a shadow over Real Madrid, with all those left behind remembering the centre-back’s legendary achievements from his 16 years at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
When Ramos arrived at Real Madrid, he took the No.4 that had belonged to Fernando Hierro. The arrival from Sevilla relished the challenge of replacing Hierro, but nobody has asked for Ramos’ number in the two and a half weeks since his departure.
It was the same with the Spanish national team. With La Roja, Ramos wore No.15, as a tribute to Antonio Puerta, yet no player in Luis Enrique’s squad took that shirt number for Euro 2020. That’s because there was still so much respect for the player who had been Spain’s captain throughout qualification, before ultimately missing out on the tournament squad.
At Real Madrid, nobody has yet taken the No.4. David Alaba has just arrived and could be a candidate, but it’s not yet clear if he’ll take that number.
The No.4 is steeped in history at Real Madrid, and not only because of Ramos and Hierro. Before them, top players like Pirri, Uli Stielike, Ricardo Rocha and Rafael Alkorta had used it too.
Somebody will surely have to take it, though, as players in the first-team squad must use numbers between No.1 and No.25. If Real Madrid want to register 25 players, and it’ll be tough to even cut the squad down that much, then they’ll need to use all possible numbers.
Ramos’ captain’s armband, meanwhile, has already been claimed by Marcelo, who had been the centre-back’s vice-captain. The Brazilian is the new captain of the team, although Karim Benzema will likely wear the armband a lot too as he is the new vice-captain and the striker is likely to start more games than the left-back.