Among the statistics to emerge from Real Madrid’s latest win—their 13th in a row in all competitions—was a special goal in the career of Sergio Ramos. His cushioned finish from a corner, which moved Madrid into a 2-0 lead against Rayo Vallecano, a match they eventually won 5-1, was his 50th goal for the club.
And layered within that statistic was another, more revealing, fact.
The Twitter account @MisterChipIng explained that Ramos’ 50 goals in Madrid white have come in 419 matches—which equated to one goal every 8.38 games.
That wasn’t the surprise, though.
The surprise was that the Madrid and Spain defender’s half-century arrived in 98 less games than it took Barcelona star Andres Iniesta to hit the same total.
Barca’s No. 8 took 517 matches, with a goal arriving every 10.34 games.
Signed as a 19-year-old from Sevilla in 2005 to keep goals out, Ramos certainly hasn’t shied away from contributing at the other end—and in an important manner, too.
None were more important than his stoppage-time equaliser in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon earlier this year.
It took the game into extra time and the Decima soon followed thanks to further goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Given his scoring form around that time, it perhaps wasn’t surprising it was Ramos who was the man to appear at just the right moment.
He had already scored two goals in the semi-final second leg win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena and his free-kick againstReal Valladolid in La Liga had temporarily kept Madrid in a title race they would eventually lose.
Those goals helped him complete his highest scoring season and he ended the campaign with a total of seven goals—four in the league and three in the Champions League.
His first four seasons in the Spanish capital had all yielded six goals, but he’d never bettered that amount.
Against Rayo, his 50th Madrid goal was his second of the current season—he had already scored against Real Sociedad, extending his scoring run with the club to 10 straight seasons.
Throughout that decade goals have come against Barcelona in theClasico, against city rivals Atletico, as mentioned, in a Champions League final. There have been free-kicks, headers and there was even one time, against Getafe, when he started a move in his own half and then bundled the ball over the line at the other end.
And while Ramos’s priority, above all else, should be stopping Madrid conceding, the goals aren’t unwanted and he may currently be taking inspiration from a certain former Bernabeu hero on the bench.
Defender Fernando Hierro, one of Carlo Ancelotti’s assistants, struck over 100 goals for the club, although he did, admittedly, spend some time playing as a defensive midfielder as well.
To add even more context to the numbers racked up by Ramos, CarlesPuyol retired in the summer having scored 24 goals for Barcelona, Rio Ferdinand scored eight goals in 12 seasons with Manchester United and John Terry’s 57 Chelsea goals have come in well over 600 appearances.
Ramos’s talent is rare and Madrid will hope he long continues to chip in.