MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 18: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid CF smiles during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on June 18, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Sergio Ramos’ goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad means the Real Madrid captain has become the highest-scoring defender in all of LaLiga history.

Ramos’ seventh goal of the current LaLiga Santander season saw him pass Barcelona legend Ronald Koeman and move to 68 career goals in the most demanding league tournament around.

The Andalusian has also scored against all 20 current LaLiga teams and his total includes an impressive range of finishes, from towering headers to long-range pile-drivers, and more recently a dead-eye from the penalty spot.

Such a talent for goal-getting has been a constant for the center-back, who often featured further up the field while he was developing through his teenage years at boyhood club Sevilla. His first LaLiga goal came in September 2004, in a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, while the following April he hammered in a 30 yard screamer against future club Real Madrid.

After his summer 2005 move to the Spanish capital, Ramos’ first goal for Los Blancos came when he headed in a corner taken by his current coach Zinedine Zidane’s in a 2-0 victory at Malaga the following December.

The larger than life character with a liking for the big occasion has scored four times against Barcelona in LaLiga Clasicos, including a late header at the Bernabeu in March 2013 to give his side a 2-1 victory. And an even later equaliser in December 2016, at the Camp Nou, to rescue a point for his team which later proved crucial in winning that season’s LaLiga title.

Ramos’ victims have included his former club Sevilla. In March 2010 he helped Real Madrid come from 0-2 down to win 3-2 at the Bernabeu. May 2011’s trip home must have been bittersweet as he scored in a 6-2 victory for a Madrid side then managed by Jose Mourinho.

Taking over spot-kick duties when Cristiano Ronaldo left the Bernabeu in summer 2018 has also helped Ramos’ accelerate his scoring rate. His only LaLiga goal in derbies against Atletico de Madrid was a coolly converted penalty in a 3-1 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano in February 2019. And, of course, he famously headed goals in both the 2014 and 2016 finals against Atletico, breaking the neighbour’s hearts on each occasion.

The breadth of goals over Ramos’ career is also impressive. Two thirds of Koeman’s total came from the penalty spot, while the Real Madrid skipper has just 11 penalties in comparison, or 16.4%. Fernando Hierro remains ahead of Ramos in the Bernabeu outfit’s all-time scoring charts with 105, although almost half of these came in games in which Hierro played in midfield.

Ramos’ 2019-20 season so far has seen penalties converted against Leganes, Eibar and Celta Vigo, plus headed goals against Alaves and Osasuna. Number 67 in LaLiga came on the day Real Madrid returned from the COVID-19 enforced break, as he started and finished a flowing team move also including Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard during the 3-1 win over Eibar.

Number 68, this weekend against Real Sociedad, took him to seven in the top flight this season, matching his best ever the previous tally, from 2016-17. With eight games still to play this season, both those records could well be stretched over the coming weeks.

Ramos recently turned 34 but there is no sign of his goalscoring slowing down, and his final record is going to very difficult for any future defender to match.

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