When Ramires joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2010, many supporters admitted they had little knowledge of the tenacious midfielder and were unsure on the type of role he would be playing at Stamford Bridge. Not being a household name, Ramires had a clean slate to begin his Chelsea career on and had the chance to mould it in to what he wanted.
Ramires has been different class ever since he came to England. In the short time he has been at the club, he has seen pretty difficult times in the beginning. He played under Carlo Ancelotti who was later sacked, Andre Villas-Boas who was also sacked, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez and now Jose Mourinho. However, one thing always remained constant and that is the fact that no matter where he is asked to play by the manager, he gets on with it and always gives 100% without question.
He gets up and down that pitch all game because he has such a good engine. His tackling has improved. His all round use of the ball has got better and he shows that he isn’t scared of going into tackles. However one area of weakness will be his first touch because he does have the tendency to give cheap possession away but he continues to improve in that area compared to when he first came here.
In addition to all this, Ramires scores goals and that’s something he has added to his game. He scored some really important goals for Chelsea in his time including two at Wembley two seasons ago, one against Spurs in the FA Cup Semi Final and one in the Final against Liverpool.
He has made many important contributions from that area and scored essential goals there, most notably his chip against Barcelona in the Champions League in the 2011-12 season, which helped seal Chelsea route in to the final and eventually go on to win the competition. This would certainly go down as one of the highlights of his career and there is no doubt that without his pace, confidence and the ability to provide a delicate finish, Chelsea may well have missed out on the Champions League once again that year.
That goal tells you everything about the Brazilian midfielder.
Bearing in mind he was asked to fill in at right back because of Gary Cahill being injured and John Terry being sent off, it shows his vision, reading of the game and his energy to play the ball to Lampard and make the run forward. The finish was sublime especially with the pressure and importance of that match.
This season Mourinho has assured Ramires of his status on the team and he sees him as one of his main players in the central midfield pivot. He responded by putting in some of the best displays that I have witnessed from him so far. After the Aston Villa match, I saw glimpses of the qualities which Chelsea’s greatest holding midfielder displayed, Claude Makelele. Now although these are two different players who both offered many different skills and attributes, I can see where the comparison is coming from. It looks as if Ramires is being transitioned into a holding midfielder, the one in the pivot who tends to sit back more and provide a shield to the. back four.
The re-invention could well be something that Mourinho is masterminding I feel that Ramires can join Makelele in becoming one of the best players of Chelsea’s history to play in that role, he will need to keep learning and perfecting the role, but he can become the pinnacle of Chelsea’s midfield this year.