Real Madrid’s post-Sergio Ramos dilemma: Good centre-backs are hard to find

Real Madrid, in considering a future post-Sergio Ramos, would do well to remember how difficult it can be to recruit at centre-back.

At the beginning of Florentino Perez‘ reign at the club he was beset with issues in the position as remembered by Marca.

Fernando Hierro, so pivotal to those three Champions League victories between 1998 and 2002, proved to be a difficult man to replace. The plan initially was to bring through a homegrown alternative, with Alvaro Mejia Perez, Ruben and Raul Bravo tried only for none to prove able to fill his shoes.

Fernando Hierro

Then, in 2004, the market was consulted. Walter Samuel came in, as did Jonathan Woodgate. Neither worked, but a year later came a young Andalusian named Sergio Ramos, who did quite well.

He was a right-back initially, however, with the idea that he’d be able to convert to centre-back as he matured as a player and a man. Fabio Cannavaro, Gabriel Heinze, Ezequiel Garay and Pepe arrived in the following years, with the Portuguese proving the greatest success.

Then came Raul Albiol, Ricardo Carvalho and a little-known Frenchman named Raphael Varane. Madrid now had the tools they needed for a rearguard capable of dominating Europe in Ramos, Pepe and Varane.

Sergio Ramos

Nacho stepped up to the plate from the youth system to replace Pepe when he moved on, but now Los Blancos must begin to consider a team without Ramos if rumours are to be believed. Eder Militao was supposed to be the player to do so, but he hasn’t performed as was expected of him.

This means that Madrid will have to hit the market to try to replace their talismanic captain, with Pau Torres and David Alaba the two most popular names. Time will tell whether they’ll be able to do one of football’s hardest jobs.

Tags Real Madrid Sergio Ramos