Reflecting on Sergio Ramos' Goal Scoring Streak

Oliver FieldContributor IIIMay 26, 2014

Reflecting on Sergio Ramos' Goal Scoring Streak

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    Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

    Six goals in the last seven games. A remarkable return for any striker in peak form. For a midfielder it would be incredible. For a central defender? Unbelievable.

    Sergio Ramos' hot streak in the final weeks of the season was an impossible display of athleticism and determination. The defender has always had a knack for finding the net, but never before has it culminated in such a regular occurrence.

    Whether coupled with Raphael Varane or Pepe, the marauding center back finds his way into the attacking third. While always a threat on set pieces, the Spaniard has been increasing his runs up the pitch in the flow of play. 

    Click on as we review each goal from the final few weeks of the campaign, concluding with his season-saving header in the Champions League final.

April 26, Osasuna, La Liga

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    After a Ronaldo brace had put the home side up two goals, Ramos began to have freedom to roam.

    In just one play, Ramos displays how valuable he is to the team. After winning a tackle at the top of his own box, Madrid's captain sprints up the pitch. He collects the ball from Ronaldo, now in the final third, and sprays it out wide to Angel Di Maria.

    He sees the opportunity unfolding and darts into the area.

    Right on time, Di Maria whips a ball into the middle of the box, Ronaldo and Co. waiting eagerly. But it is Ramos that rises up to meet the ball, confidently heading it downward and into the goal en route to a 4-0 victory.

    A spectacular display of power and precision, it was to be the start of a special run.

April 29, Bayern Munich, Champions League

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    His follow up to Osasuna was certainly memorable. Real Madrid were up one goal on aggregate with the tall task of keeping the European Champions at bay.

    Their trip to Munich could have been the end of their Champions League campaign, but Ramos would not let that happen.

    After just 15 minutes, Los Blancos earned a corner from the right side. Luka Modric smashes an out-swinger into the box. Ramos arrives late and unmarked, guiding his powerful header down into the center of the goal.

    Then, just minutes later, Ramos sealed the deal with yet another set piece header. This time it was a free kick taken by Angel Di Maria. The Argentine curls the ball in and Pepe gets a touch, but Ramos reacts immediately with a diving effort on goal.

    The 2-0 scoreline and 3-0 aggregate effectively put Real Madrid through to the final. Two more Ronaldo goals rubbed salt in the wound, but these two Ramos goals will be remembered for pushing the capital club through to Lisbon.

May 4, Valencia, La Liga

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    On May 4, Real Madrid found themselves in an uncomfortable position. Down 1-0, the club needed points from the game to realistically maintain a role in the title race. However, Jeremy Mathieu's strike just before half time put Los Blancos in a hole.

    But for the fourth time in a week, Ramos grabbed the game by the horns. This time he found himself drifting up in the attacking third, eagerly awaiting a cross.

    To his delight, the ball comes looping into the box, but it sails well over his head. Luckily for him, Ronaldo had peeled out to the back post to meet it. Rather than shoot on goal, the forward cushions the ball back across to his teammate.

    Ramos makes no mistake and nods home, making it his fourth goal in his last three outings. Valencia would pull one back minutes later, but Ronaldo's heroics in injury time were enough to draw the game 2-2.

May 7, Real Valladolid, La Liga

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    At this point things were getting ridiculous. Yes, Ramos had scored four goals in the past week, but they had all been relatively straightforward headers. This was not.

    Clearly taking lessons from Ronaldo, Ramos stepped up to the dead ball with confidence in his eyes. From about 25 yards out, the Spaniard lashes the ball up and over the wall, high and to the left of the helpless Jaime Jimenez Merio.

    The 1-0 scoreline looked set to remain and Madrid defended hard. But, with just minutes to go, Humberto Osorio nodded home to lock up the match at 1-1.

    Despite a barrage of late pressure from the away side, the game ended in a draw, casting real doubt on the La Liga aspirations of the club.

     

May 24, Atletico Madrid, Champions League

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    The moment Sergio Ramos became legendary.

    After falling behind 1-0 midway through the first half, Real Madrid looked lost. An Iker Casillas mistake had cost them a goal and Atleti were defending like mad men. Los Rojiblancos closed down every inch of the field, making it impossible for Madrid to keep a rhythm.

    Then, as the second half unfolded, the tide seemed to turn. Real Madrid were keeping possession and forcing the play in the final third.

    Chances came and went—just ask Gareth Bale—but they were unable to find a breakthrough. Five minutes of stoppage time gave Madridistas hope, yet Atletico's defense was stifling. 

    Then, 92 minutes gone, Los Blancos won a corner. Modric sent a curler into the mix, but it eluded both Bale and Ronaldo. Sergio Ramos leaped, met the ball at his peak, and sent it directly into the bottom corner.

    We all know what happened next. Atletico were tired and deflated, and a back-from-the-dead Madrid poured the pressure on, leading to goals from Bale, Marcelo, and Ronaldo in extra time. The 4-1 victory brought La Decima to Real Madrid, but without Ramos' late game heroics, they would have returned home empty handed.

    From his original goal against Osasuna to his Champions League injury time thriller, Ramos' goal scoring exploits in the final weeks of the season exemplified the combination of leadership, athletic ability, and sheer determination that makes the Spaniard one of the world's most complete defenders.