Sergio Ramos Can Use Champions League as a Springboard for World Cup Glory

Rik Sharma@@riksharma_Featured ColumnistJune 2, 2014

Ramos poses with the trophy.
Ramos poses with the trophy.Gabriel Pecot/Associated Press

Sergio Ramos was instrumental in Real Madrid's Champions League win and will be aiming to propel Spain to glory at the World Cup.

The Real Madrid centre-back is in the form of his life, complementing strong defensive displays with an outstanding goalscoring streak in recent weeks.

He has six goals in his last seven games in La Liga and the Champions League for Real Madridquite astonishing for a defender.

Ramos scored twice against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena to seal Madrid's progress to the Champions League final.

In that clash, deep into stoppage time with Atletico Madrid minutes away from winning the match, Ramos made the difference again.

The Real Madrid vice-captain leaped brilliantly to reach a corner whipped in from the right and powerfully headed it into the bottom left corner of Thibaut Courtois' net.

Ramos celebrates in the Champions League final.
Ramos celebrates in the Champions League final.Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

Atletico's goalkeeper, so hard to beat last season, stretched to deny the defender but could not, so accurately was Ramos' header angled into the very corner of the goal.

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From there, it was difficult to see Atletico winning the game, and, fittingly, it was Ramos who made a key contribution to Real Madrid achieving La Decima.

Ramos, whose partner recently gave birth to the couple's first child, was honoured by the city of Seville, where he is from.

He received a city medal for his contribution to sport and was delighted, per Real Madrid's official website: "I'm very proud, this is the most important prize. I should never forget who I am and where I'm from and this is a unique and special moment for me. My goal is to maintain my standard of play and to have a great World Cup."

The latter comment is the one that will get Spain supporters excited for this summer.

Vicente del Bosque's side are attempting to make history and retain the World Cup while also holding the previous two European Championship titles.

Ramos is a nailed-on starter for the reigning champions and will almost certainly be paired alongside Barcelona's Gerard Pique at the back.

The Madrid man is a genuine superstar.
The Madrid man is a genuine superstar.David Ramos/Getty Images

The Madrid star's individual form has been so good that people are touting him as a possible Ballon d'Or winner.

Breaking up the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi double act won't be easy, but Ramos says he would love to achieve the reward.

To do so, he will need to be a key man for Spain at the World Cup.

He said, per Marca:

I'm at my best. I've had a great year, both on a personal and professional front. Let's hope it continues for the World Cup in Brazil. The whole Spanish national squad have to give it every last drop of sweat.

I would love to win the Ballon d'Or, but honestly, I'm not even thinking about it. In the end, individual titles are achieved with the help of all your teammates. It isn't Sergio Ramos's Decima, it's everyone's. There are lots of people who have worked hard to win the title. It's been a great year for all Madridistas.

Ramos is an extremely attacking defender, which suits the style of play of both Madrid and Spain.

But in recent months, he has also ironed out a few defensive flaws in his game.

Ramos has behaved better in recent weeks.
Ramos has behaved better in recent weeks.Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

In nine matches between October and December, he managed to pick up five yellow cards and two red ones, but in the last nine matches, he was only booked twice.

While his disciplinary record over the years has been far from good, he has never been sent off for Spain.

La Roja fans will hope that continues this summer in Brazil.