Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos confirmed on Thursday that he wants to ‘retire’ at Real Madrid, ending speculation that he was set to move to China.
The Spanish international admitted he had an offer from China but he felt ‘loved’ by the fans and never considered to departure.
“Of course, I don’t want to leave Real Madrid. I always have said that I want to retire here and in my case, and the president (Florentino Perez) can confirm it, is that I would not leave Real Madrid while I was under contract with them,” Ramos said.
Real Madrid ended a season of frustration after replacing two managers, Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, finishing third in the Spanish La Liga and crashing out of the Champions League in the round of 16.
“I am not going to lie. The offer (from China) it was on the table, and I told the club about the offer when I felt it was something wrong, and if my fans did not want me here, obviously, I would have thought about it. It was not the case. I always have been loyal to Real Madrid and I feel loved here,” he added.
Skipper Sergio Ramos has insisted he wants to see out his contract at Real Madrid after dismissing claims he was keen to leave for China on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old defender held a press conference on Thursday in which he signalled his intention to go out on a high after a disappointing end to the 2018-19 season at the Bernabeu.
He told reporters: “I want to reiterate that I want to finish my contract here at the club in the best way possible. We’ve had an indifferent season, we want to put that behind us and we want to go on and do great things.
“Some players haven’t been able to leave triumphantly, but I know that I want to, I would like to after giving so much here.
“Let’s see what happens. Perhaps some youngsters come through and they push me out.
“You see players who are icons in other teams in England and Italy, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard, these kind of players. They try to leave at the very top and that’s what I want to do as well.”
Ramos admitted that there had been an offer from China, and that things between he and club president Florentino Perez could have been handled better.
He said: “Our relationship has always been very good, like father and son – but who doesn’t have an argument with their father now and again?
“We maybe should have had it face-to-face and not let third parties get involved, but that’s in the past.
“Yes, the offer was there, but it’s never tempted me. If the fans didn’t want me here or the club didn’t want me here, then maybe it’s an offer that could be interesting.
“But that’s not the case and I have never, ever thought about going off to China.”
Ramos, who has been at Real for almost 14 years, was also asked about Eden Hazard.
The Belgian playmaker, who scored twice for Chelsea in Wednesday night’s 4-1 Europa League final victory over Arsenal in Baku, has been linked with a move to the Bernabeu this summer.
He said: “Hazard is a great player. He is top and I think he would be a great addition to Real Madrid. But I don’t know if he’s coming.
“I don’t know what the situation is at the moment, but he could add a lot to this club.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted his affection for Real Madrid and club president Florentino Perez after his light-hearted comment drew a reaction from the club.
Last week, Pochettino had claimed that his team were denied permission to stay at the training ground in Madrid ahead of the Champions League.
“I asked Florentino to let us sleep in the sports centre but he told me that I can only sleep there when I become the coach of Real Madrid,” he said.
Madrid responded to these comments, explaining that the allegations made by the Spurs boss were false.
“Real Madrid CF is surprised by the demonstrations made by the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino, about a supposed request made to our club so that his team could stay in the residence of the Real Madrid City on the occasion of the final of the Champions League.
“Real Madrid CF wants to make it clear that it is outright false that this request was produced. Our club has always shown its absolute availability to meet all the requests made by UEFA, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Club Atletico de Madrid, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur,” the official statement read.
With the ball in Pochettino’s court, the former Espanyol manager praised the club and the president, reiterating that his comment was made in good humour.
“I’m glad that Florentino understood my comments,” Pochettino said to Radio MARCA, in reference to an interview he had given to COPE’s El Partidazo.
“He’s a president who defined an era.
“I have huge affection for him and Real Madrid and I never intended to upset him or the club.”