Ramos Reachs 100 Champions League Games for Real Madrid

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

Sergio Ramos is today celebrating 100 Champions League games for Real Madrid since his debut 12 years on from an inauspicious debut in the competition. The defender is hoping to guide his club into the last of four of the competition. Madrid are hosting Bayern Munich in the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu.

The central defender, 31, made a rocky debut in the competition back in 2005 as the Merengue lost 3-0 to Lyon. But he has since become a mainstay in the club’s defence, scoring goals in two Champions League finals to help Madrid prevail in 2013-14 and 2015-16. And on Tuesday he becomes Madrid’s fourth European centurion, after Roberto Carlos, Raul and Iker Casillas.

The current Porto goalkeeper made 152 appearances for his boyhood club in the Champions League, out of a total of 164 with both the Spaniards and Porto. Roberto Carlos, meanwhile, took the field 109 times in the competition, with Raul appearing on a total of 132 occasions.

Ramos, who will partner Nacho in the centre of defence in the quarter-final second leg following injuries to Pepe and Raphael Varane, also becomes only the sixth Spanish national to achieve the feat.  As well as Raul, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and Xavi have also reached Champions League centurion status.

Madrid go into the return match protecting a 2-1 lead, after two Cristiano Ronaldo goals sealed victory last week at the Allianz Arena.