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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 9 May 2021

Ramos joins Messi in exclusive La Liga goalscoring club as Real Madrid prevail

The 33-year-old scored a penalty against Leganes to maintain an impressive run.

Sergio Ramos celebrates.
Sergio Ramos celebrates.

SERGIO RAMOS HAS become just the second player to score in 16 consecutive seasons in La Liga, joining Lionel Messi as the only two players to do so.

The Real Madrid centre-back netted his first league goal of the season when he converted a penalty against Leganes in the first half of Wednesday’s clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 33-year-old’s goal continues a long run of scoring in every campaign since 2004-05, stretching back to his time with Sevilla.

Ramos scored his first two La Liga goals in his only full season with Sevilla before moving to the Spanish capital in 2005 to continue his run. He has now scored 62 times in his 468 appearances in the top-flight.

The goal puts Ramos in esteemed company, as he joins Barcelona star Messi as the only players to have scored in every season for the last 16 years.

Messi broke into the Barcelona first-team in 2004-05 and netted one league goal that season, though he has been much more prolific since then. The Argentine has an incredible record of 423 goals in 457 games in La Liga.

While Madrid have struggled to find consistency this season, it has been a good month for Ramos, as he broke Iker Casillas’ record to become the most capped player in Spain’s history.

“Records are there to be broken,” he said after making his 168th appearance in La Roja’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Norway.

“I hope that this momentum, enthusiasm and ambition always accompanies me and that I reach 200 games, which is the objective. You have to make it difficult.”

Having already lifted the World Cup and two European Championship titles with Spain, he is also aiming to win an Olympic medal by making the Spain team for the games in Tokyo next year.

But the Madrid captain has also found himself in legal trouble last week, as he confirmed he will appeal against a €1 million by the Spanish tax authorities.

Ramos released a statement clarifying that the issue is “an administrative fine, not a criminal offence” and that he is “fully compliant” and has paid the fine.

“Due to my non-conformity regarding the change of criteria from the Spanish tax office, and reiterating that I have paid the fine, I am exercising my right to appeal,” he added.

Meanwhile, Karim Benzema had a hand in three goals as he inspired Real Madrid to the 5-0 win over Leganes.

With last weekend’s scheduled Clasico against Barcelona postponed due to political tension in Catalonia, Madrid appeared to have fun on their return to action as they toyed with rock-bottom Leganes, who had no answer to the classy Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Frenchman was central to a brutal Madrid start that saw them lead 2-0 within eight minutes – Benzema setting up Rodrygo Goes and Toni Kroos, before Ramos got in on the act from the spot.

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Benzema eventually got a deserved goal of his own from 12 yards, taking him to seven for the season, and Luka Jovic finally got his first goal for the club in stoppage time as Los Blancos moved up to second — behind Barcelona — in the table.

Madrid looked in the mood right from the start and quickly charged into their two-goal lead, as Benzema teed up Rodrygo for a straightforward finish, before Kroos’ deft flick from the striker’s low cross left Juan Soriano with no chance.

Ramos increased the deficit in the 24th minute with a penalty, though he needed two opportunities as Soriano — who conceded the spot-kick for fouling Eden Hazard — was penalised via VAR for coming off his line when saving the Madrid captain’s first attempt.

Benzema went agonisingly close to a fine goal just past the hour when his 25-yard strike came back off Soriano’s left-hand post.

But Soriano had no such luck soon after, when Benzema slammed home a cool penalty, won by Luka Modric after a clumsy tackle by Kenneth Omeruo.

Jovic wrapped up an emphatic victory late on, meeting Dani Carvajal’s cross with a fine header to get off the mark for Madrid in his 10th outing.

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