Sergio Ramos breaks down in tears as he heads for Real Madrid exit

Former captain is leaving Spanish giants after 16 trophy-filled years

Soccer Football - Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos leaves the club after 16 years - Ciudad Real Madrid, Valdebebas, Madrid, Spain - June 17, 2021 Real Madrid fans with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos outside Ciudad Real Madrid, Valdebebas REUTERS/Susana Vera
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Sergio Ramos broke down in tears on Thursday as he officially announced his exit from Real Madrid after 16 years.

The 35-year-old has suffered a frustrating injury-hit season where he has managed just 15 La Liga appearances and played just five times since the start of the year.

Ramos was also left out of Spain's Euro 2020 squad due to his relentless injury problems this campaign

His contract expires at the end of the month and he was unable to agree a new deal with Los Blancos.

At a farewell press conference, Ramos said: "You're never prepared to say adios to Real Madrid but the moment has arrived, this is a see you soon because sooner or later I will return to Real Madrid.

"I'll always keep Real Madrid in my heart. A marvellous stage in my life is over, but a new exciting future awaits and I am looking forward to showing my level and winning some more trophies.

"I would like to thank the fans, they carried me in their arms at all times. I would have liked to say goodbye at the Bernabeu. But I will always carry you in my heart."

Ramos also said that he was going to accept Real's offer of a new contract only to find that deal was no longer on the table.

"The first thing I'd like to say is that I've never wanted to leave Real Madrid, I've always wanted to stay.

"To give details and to be brief, I go back to the lockdown LaLiga title, which we won and celebrated. After that, the club offered me the opportunity to extend my contract, but because of Covid it was put on the back burner.

"In the last few months, the club made me a one-year offer with a salary reduction. Money was never a problem; the president knew that I'd made clear that it wasn't an economic issue. It was a problem in terms of years; they offered me one year and I wanted two, it was stability for my family.

"In the last conversations I said that I accepted and they told me that there was no longer an offer. I was told that even though I had agreed to the last offer that was on the table, I was told that it had an expiry date and I hadn't heard about it."

Ramos won four European Cups, four World Club Cups, three European Super Cups, five La Liga titles, two Copa del Reyes and is Madrid's second most decorated player in their history behind Paco Gento.

Despite the tearful finale after such a distinguished career in the Spanish capital, Ramos refused to point the finger of blame at Florentino Perez. "My relationship with the president has been extraordinary, it's like father and son, I'll always be eternally grateful," he said.

"He brought me to Real Madrid and I'm not going to make any statement against him, because in families there are also fights and everyone has to look after their own interests, but today I'll remember that hug we gave each other at the event."

epa09278832 (FILE) - Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos receives the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final between Juventus FC and Real Madrid at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff, Britain, 03 June 2017 (reissued 17 June 2021). Real Madrid's icon Sergio Ramos will leave the club after his contract expires on 30 June 2021. The club announced to bid Ramos farewell on 17 June 2021 in a virtually held press conference.  EPA/ANDY RAIN *** Local Caption *** 53565189
Sergio Ramos celebrates after Real Madrid defeated Juventus to win the 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff, one of four European Cups he lifted with Los Blancos. EPA