Real Madrid announced Wednesday that longtime defender Sergio Ramos will be leaving the club this summer.
The club said that "an institutional act of tribute and farewell to our captain" would be held on Thursday followed by a press conference with Ramos.
Ramos is a Los Blancos legend. His success at the club speaks for itself:
B/R Football @brfootball
16 seasons<br>671 appearances<br>101(!) goals<br><br>🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 La Liga<br>🏆🏆🏆🏆 Champions League<br>🏆🏆 Copa del Rey <br>🏆🏆🏆🏆Spanish Super Cup<br>🏆🏆🏆 UEFA Super Cup<br>🏆🏆🏆🏆 FIFA Club World Cup<br><br>It was a hell of a run for Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid 🌟 pic.twitter.com/OIUXNayfqW
It's hard to imagine Real Madrid without Ramos patrolling the back. It's hard to imagine a different player donning the armband, or the rivalry between Los Blancos and Barcelona not featuring him trying to slow down Lionel Messi.
Over the years, a number of excellent players have come and gone from the Bernabeu. Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Marcelo have been regular fixtures. Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Iker Casillas ultimately moved on. Through it all, there's been Ramos.
His centre-back pairing with Raphael Varane over the past decade has played a huge role in Real Madrid's immense success, both domestically and in Europe.
Granted, Ramos' reputation is not spotless. His detractors have long labeled him as one of the game's dirtiest players.
"If you put all of the situations of Ramos together then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told reporters in 2018 after accusing Ramos of a "ruthless and brutal" challenge on Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final that resulted in the star forward dislocating his shoulder. "The year before against Juve he was responsible for the red card for [Juan] Cuadrado. Nobody talks about that afterwards."
But there's no doubting his longevity, talent or success at Real Madrid. When you think Los Blancos, his name and face inevitably come to mind.