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.
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.
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.