Victor Orta explains Sevilla U-turn on Sergio Ramos – references NBA show and philosopher

Sevilla have signed Sergio Ramos 18 years after seeing him leave for Real Madrid, in a deal that shocked many. Ramos was a free agent and holding out for an offer that looked like it would never come, with multiple Sevilla figures declaring that he was not an option publicly.

Ramos has had a rocky relationship with his former club since leaving, and despite penning an apology to the fans, the main ultra group said that Sevilla had betrayed their values with his signing.

The 37-year-old was delighted to be back though, and clearly has plenty of support from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan too, with Ramos receiving a rapturous reception from 23,000 fans.

Sporting Director Victor Orta, formerly of Leeds United, was one of the ones who had publicly rejected the idea. However he explained the sequence of events leading to Ramos’ signing, as recounted by Cadena SER.

“When I arrived at Sevilla there were 32 players, plus four academy players, 36. From the outset it was stated that the position of central defender was not a position to reinforce because we had 6 central defenders; a newcomer like Gattoni; Bade, we executed his buy clause; Gudelj, the coach told us that he was going to be a central defender; there was a lot of  faith in Marcao; and one of the big projects for the club in Nianzou. In the first phase of the market, we tried to get players out. First the vice president makes some statements to La Liga about Ramos and he is not lying, because at that time we had other priorities. The market continues to advance and Gudelj’s move to centre-back means that there are only three midfielders and we want to bring one more.”

Vice-President Jose Maria del Nido Carrasco had labelled him ‘not an option’, saying there were no talks happening with Ramos.

“We continue advancing in time and Pepe Castro’s statement arrives, at which point we still do not have the intention of signing a central defender. The market continues to advance and we reached September 1 with 26 players, 0 salary limit left for the squad, three games lost and two centre-back injuries. At that moment, we thought that the midfield and the attack must be strengthened. The market closes and the vice president calls me to tell me what he thinks about the addition of a central defender. That night he had seen a series in the US in which Jerry West is about to say no to Magic Johnson because he was unsure and wanted a safer option; 24 hours later he chose him in the draft.”

The series likely being referred to is HBO’s ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’, focusing on the successful of the LA Lakers in the NBA.

“It made me reflect that many of the things that made me unsure about the signing of Sergio Ramos were not fair in terms of what he could contribute. [David] Hume, who is a philosopher, says that there is a great difference between animals and people, the right to reflect, to rectify, to change their minds. We spoke after the morning of the match that did not take place against Atletico and we decided to look for a central defender and the best one there was, was Sergio Ramos.”

Ramos now forms part of that burgeoning room of central defensive options for Jose Luis Mendilibar. Traditionally the Basque manager likes to play with a high line, something that might be tricky for the ageing Ramos. Yet his leadership and vibrant approach could well knit the Sevilla side together and give them a push in the right direction.

Tags Real Madrid Sergio Ramos Sevilla Victor Orta
La Liga - Club News