Sergio Ramos Says He'd Have Played Tennis If He Wanted 'Individual Titles'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23:  Sergio Ramos attends The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at the Teatro Alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has said he'd have followed a different career if he cared about winning individual awards.

Ramos was named in FIFPro's World XI for the 10th time on Monday at FIFA's The Best awards:

Sergio Ramos @SergioRamos

An honour to be selected for the #FifproWorldXI for the tenth time. La Décima is always #TheBest. 😉 😉 Thank you @realmadrid , @World11 and fellow pros. Onwards! #FIFAFootballAwards https://t.co/TdQG8RvuNb

Although he celebrated the achievement on social media, he said after the ceremony, per Goal's Joe Wright:

"I'd prefer to not come here and for Real Madrid to win titles. If I'd wanted to win individual titles, then I'd have dedicated myself to tennis.

"When the team wins, we always win. It wasn't a good season last year, but it's a good sign that Real Madrid have players in the XI."

Ramos was named in the team alongside Real Madrid team-mates Marcelo, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard, who joined from Chelsea in the summer:

B/R Football @brfootball

This XI, though 🔥 https://t.co/QK520lUme8

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe and Liverpool.com's Joel Rabinowitz offered the following:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

Marcelo and Ramos Footballers don’t watch football #TheBestAwards

Joel Rabinowitz @joel_archie

Aside from the fact Real Madrid were atrocious last season, Ramos hasn't even played right-back in years.

Kieran Canning of the Agence France-Presse suggested their inclusion was purely based on the club they play for:

Kieran Canning @KieranCanning

There has always been a Madrid/Barca bias to FIFA XI due to name recognition but this year's is hilarious. Ramos, Marcelo (who was dropped for a kid) & Modric had horrendous seasons, Hazard play well for 3 months + EL final & probably doesn't get in if he doesn't sign for Madrid

Soccer Laduma's David Kappel added further insight:

David Kappel @kappilinho

Highlight of Marcelo's season, getting dropped for Reguilon because he was 7kg overweight. Highlight of Ramos' season, getting a yellow card and missing Real's UCL knockout, while being filmed in the stands for his documentary. Highlight of Modric's season, losing 6-1 to Spain.

Real had a highly disappointing 2018-19 season, with Ramos, Modric and Marcelo all guilty of having poor campaigns. Los Blancos were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Ajax in the round of 16, while in La Liga they lost 12 games and finished third, 19 points behind Barcelona.

Ramos and Marcelo were part of a defence that conceded 46 goals in the Spanish top flight, Real's worst tally since 2008-09.

On the Brazilian's inclusion, Ramos said: "He's one of the best in the world. Everyone is free to comment. It's hard to please everyone."

Marcelo's place in the World XI is particularly tenuous, though. He was dropped for Sergio Reguilon for a significant portion of last season, which limited him to just 21 starts in La Liga. Santiago Solari, who managed the team between October and March, evidently felt he could not trust the 31-year-old.

Marcelo was an unused substitute in both legs of the knockout tie with Ajax, Real's home clashes with Barcelona in both La Liga and the Copa del Rey, and their trip to Atletico Madrid during Solari's tenure.