When a millionaire takes on a billionaire

Sergio Ramos thought he was getting his move to China.
Sergio Ramos thought he was getting his move to China. / EFE

  • Sergio Ramos thought he'd be granted his move to China but he'd forgotten about the ruthless businessman he would be dealing with

So now we know who wins when a billionaire fights a multi-millionaire; it the same as when a president takes on a captain or father takes on a son.

You don't get to the top of the largest construction business in Spain and run arguably the world's biggest football club by ever losing a business negotiation. Sergio Ramos may be able to tackle Spain's best footballers, but he met his match when it came to going head to head with Florentino Pérez, one of Europe's most lethal businessmen.

On the fifth anniversary of Ramos scoring his famous Champions League final goal, it was let slip that he was considering a move to China. This was no coincidence. I'm sure in the minds of his advisors it was a great idea. "The video shows he's been a great servant, the club must let him see out his years elsewhere."

But what they forgot is that they were dealing with the man who exercised the clause in Luis Figo's Barcelona contract stating that he must move if the excessive buy-out figure was reached! The Portuguese did the unthinkable and moved to their historic rivals.

When he returned from a short social break with friends, Ramos was summoned to the president's office. There he was reminded that he was still in contract.

Ramos was forced to call a press conference. It was suggested that he'd been on a stag weekend - always a good excuse for not thinking straight!

"This is not about money," said Ramos. He failed to follow it up with a life-long desire to trek the Great Wall of China or grow the fledgling Chinese Super League. It was obviously irrelevant that there's a reported 25 million euros per season up for grabs.

"I told Ramos that it was impossible for Real Madrid let their captain go for free" was the response from Don Pérez who had inserted an 800-million-euro buy-out clause when the centre-back last used Manchester United's apparent interest to strike a deal.

"At the end of the day, the president and I have a father-son relationship and we love each other a lot. The friction produces love." This was one of a multitude of sugary platitudes from Ramos on the affair. Father had nutmegged son and left him sitting on his backside looking stupid.

Father hadn't forgiven son for getting himself intentionally booked against Ajax so he would have a clean disciplinary slate for the Champions League quarter finals. Father's team didn't make it because his stupid son was absent when they lost 4-1 in the second leg.

So Ramos stays... for now. Notice that the president said nobody got the Real Madrid captain for free. Has he left the door open to off-loading him for a fee?

The only question that remains to be asked is: did the meeting make the season-long documentary on Ramos? Normally I give these publicity pranks a wide berth; they're all about rubbing shoulders with the beautiful people, the latest tattoo or restaurant opening. However, I would subscribe if they promised an unedited version of the president carpeting the captain.

Sergio Ramos has cancelled his Mandarin lessons.