Real Madrid captain and leader Sergio Ramos underwent surgery to repair his left meniscus this past Saturday, right in the middle of his negotiations with the club to extend his contract, which expires next summer.
Ramos will miss around six weeks of activity, but should be back in time for a potential Champions League Quarterfinals tie if Madrid advance against Atalanta.
From a pure football perspective, Ramos made sure that he could be ready for the crucial games of the European competition assuming Real Madrid have what it takes to beat Atalanta without him.
However, his injury and his decision to have surgery to repair it could have repercussions on his potential contract extension with Madrid, which seems to have stalled in recent weeks. Reports from the Spanish press say that an agreement is not close at all and this surgery has the potential to make it even worse now.
My take here is that Ramos is playing it safe, making sure of two things.— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) February 6, 2021
1- He should be ready for the Quarterfinals if Madrid beat Atalanta.
2- He's not risking a major knee injury while on a expiring contract.
Real Madrid are probably thinking about Ramos’ return to the pitch. If the captain keeps performing well and recovers from surgery as expected, then Los Blancos could ultimately give Ramos what he wants: a two-year deal with the same salary he’s currently earning. Madrid could ultimately be patient and wait until Ramos proves that he’s healthy and ready to lead the defensive line even after having surgery on his knee, knowing that it’s unlikely that any other club gives Ramos a quality deal now that he’s not able to play.
On the other hand, that scenario doesn’t suit Ramos. Knee injuries are always very tricky and even more so when you’re about to turn 35 years old and want to play in the UEFA Euro this summer. The Spanish defender will almost certainly want to play it very safe and take a cautious approach even when he’s able to play, knowing that a relapse or a rushed recovery could very well end his career or at the very least his chances of getting the last big contract of his career.
It makes sense. Ramos is a true madridista and has proven so time and time again, but why should he want to play 90 minutes consistently on a knee which just was repaired very recently?
Still, all things considered, Real Madrid might have the edge here, given that Ramos doesn’t have as much leverage as he did before the injury. At the end of the day, the captain will have to play and prove that he’s able to stay healthy and make an impact just to receive offers from other clubs who might have interest in his signing.
It will be very interesting to see how the events unfold in a few weeks. Make no mistake, Real Madrid need Ramos on the field if they want to compete for the Champions League title and he knows it, that being the main reason why he’s pushing to get the deal he wants. How will he play it once he’s able to return to the field? Will he be at Zidane’s disposal from the very beginning or will he think about his future?