Sunday, 22 August 2010

GETTING TO KNOW RAMIRES

Introduction To The Brazilian Hot-Shot

    Ramires Santos do Nascimento was born on 24th march 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. He is a young midfielder who is admired by many as the part of the next elite generation brazilian squad. This is a player who has played for 2 major clubs previously before joining Chelsea. He was in the heart of midfield when he played for the club Cruzeiro, it is this club where the fans nicknamed him 'the blue kenyan', this was in relation to Cruzeiro's main colour and the physical appearance of Ramires. His next destination was one of the top clubs of Portugal, for Benfica he only played one season but his midfield mastering helped the club steer the league title. Soon his quality performances for the club got in notice to the Brazilian coach Dunga and Ramires was called up for the Brazilain squad heading to south Africa for the world cup. Ramires was an all important part of Brazilian midfield where he played all the matches except for the one against Netherlands, he missed it due to suspension on cards. The then coach, Dunga claimed he was the most severly missed players in the match and had he not been suspended, the outcome of the match would have been different(Brasil lost the match and got knocked out of the world cup). These are very strong words from a coach toward a player. Ramires at this point was a hero and an instant hit of a player, this is the point where all the media started the linking of his with top europeon clubs, Chelsea as one of the strongest then.

 
     Now lets take a look at his profile as a player and understand why Chelsea bought a player like Ramires when in the market there were available names like German Khedira and Mesut Ozil, Brazilian Kaka etc. From 2007 to 2009 Ramires played 81 games for the club and country and scored 16 goals, a good return number of goals for a player who played as a defensive midfielder. Then for the one year he played for benfica he played 43 games scoring 5 crucial goals. At this point in his career he had played 138 games, scoring 24 goals. This was the point where this player had cought maturity to his game and became renowned in the football world.
Chelsea emerged as his favourite club to play for in europe despite interests from bayern munich, real madrid and several other top clubs. In his own words he said playing for Chelsea would be like a dream come true for any football player. Benfica pushed hard for him to stay as he was such a huge asset to them, specially after having sold another of their gem to real madrid, Angel di Maria. But a bid close to 17million pounds was so tempting that Benfica couldnt resist to do business.
 

Ramires of Brazil and Alexis Sanchez of Chile during the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 28, 2010. UPI/Chris Brunskill Photo via Newscom    This is the story of Ramires' career from his native land to the heaven i.e Stamford bridge.

 
    Now let us study about his qualities and reasons to why Chelsea paid so much money for this players. We all know king Carlo's football, he might be one of the top tacticians in the football world but at Chelsea he instilled a quality brand of football in the club and stated an identity of Chelsea as a major club in the world for the very impressive football. What Abramovich wanted was attractive football and winning football, and Carlo brought the complete package. But noone can ignore the fact that the double winning Chelsea side had a huge influence of Ballack in the team. He was a regular starting player and his midfield combination with Frank Lampard was believed to be one of the best in the world. Essien was almost absent throughout the season. Along with Ballack, Deco and Joe Cole too had some chunks of quality in the season. But all these 3 top individuals were released by Chelsea in the summer. Surely some new addition was needed, and Benayoun and Ramires were the ones up for it. Why Ramires? It is a simple understanding, Ramires is a complete midfielder, he is box-to-box, and in todays world, such midfielders are rare. Many can argue that when we have Essien, why buy Ramires? It's simple, with the precision of long passing and trick passing of Lampard, along with Essien's short passing and extra quality in defensive role, another box to box midfielder would complete the chemistry of this ageing Chelsea side, the tactics are hard to understand but when a team plays 3 players in midfield then 2 box to box along with one playmaker and attacking midfielder is the best combination. In the league Obi Mikel can be as good a marksman as anyone, but in the Europeon games, Mikel hasn't been performing up to the mark. It is Ramires who provides the pefect solution. Europeon games can be faster or slower than the league games, can be unpredictable, so players need to adapt to it accordingly. Where Mikel finds it difficult, Ramires can fit in perfectly because of his unbelievable stamina and box to box running non stop for ninety minutes. Ramires in the squad not only brings extra quality, but also tactical balance. He is young and energetic, defender Alex was quoted as saying that Ramires is the new Essien. Who wouldn't want an engine like Essien in their team? We are blessed we have two Essiens now.

 
     We all understand that where we were so good in the league last term, in the champions league we were outclassed by Inter, and we never really looked that strong. Ancelotti knows the squad he has now, is good enough to hold on to the league, but for the champions league, a different mix of chemistry is a must, and surely Ancelottie is doing his homework for the champions league now. Ramires fits in perfectly. The 4-3-3 formation with the midfield of Lampard, Essien and Ramires can prove to be the best midfield in club football, when we know the attack has likes of Drogba, Anelka and the magical Malouda.
All in all, Ramires is the best possible buy Carlo could make, he is young and energetic, box to box, blends a mix of different tactical formations which is so important for the champions league games, this is the complete package Carlo wanted in a single player.
Oh, and we all know the Brazilian mentality don't we?
My blood is Blue.
Ali Akbar.