You can say what you like about Sergio Ramos, with his frequent red cards (22 and counting) and often lamentable theatrics, but he's nothing if not interesting. In today's heavily scripted and choreographed world of pale, stale footballers, we should be celebrating rather than berating players like big Sergio. It feels like they're a dying breed, soon to be replaced by yet more cyborgs with spotlessly clean post-match interviews and disciplinary records to match.
The Real Madrid and Spain captain has won just about everything a young boy from Seville could ever dream of winning. He has four La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey cup final wins, and three Champions League winners' medals with Real Madrid, which sit alongside lifting both the UEFA European Championship (twice) and FIFA World Cup trophies with the Spanish national team.
His astonishing success yet captivating madness leads you to wonder what makes Sergio Ramos tick. What does he get up when he's not picking up trophies? How does he train, prepare, relax, and unwind behind the scenes of his very public life?
We sat down with Sergio at the launch of Nike's new Tiempo Legend VII football boot, and picked apart his morning routine to learn how he starts his day and get a better idea of the man behind the genius.
"Immediately after waking up I take a shower while listening to some music to get moving," he says. "I say goodbye to my family and drive to Real Madrid City (the team's main training hub) in Valdebebas, where I usually have breakfast."
While you might expect a Real Madrid superstar to have lavishly complicated breakfasts thrown at him, it turns out they're actually pretty simple. "I usually take a coffee, some whole-grain bread with protein like turkey breast or a poached egg, and a piece of fruit," he explains. "It’s a nutritious, balanced breakfast. If we don’t have a training session with the team, I take something a bit lighter."
Footballers obviously don't train every day, but that doesn't mean Sergio treats himself to a lazy morning in bed if he has the day off. His Instagram account is littered with high-intensity (not to mention impressive) workout videos. He explains, "My training routines at home are usually focused on functional (that's exercises targeting core strength and muscle groups, to you and me) and isometric (exercises where your muscles tense up but don't move) exercises, always ending with some cardio work."
These aren't, however, the kind of exercises he'll be put through while training with Real Madrid. "All these routines I do at home are supervised by the club’s medical staff," he says. "They focus on complementing the training on the pitch, as well as improving muscle tone and everyday movement."
And when it comes to relaxing? "Music is very important for me, it's my way of living. It helps to motivate me, to change my mood, and helps me forget about things when I'm not playing." It's also pretty clear from his choice of footwear for the interview — Nike's Air Max 97 "Silver Bullet" — that he's a bit of a sneakerhead. He laughs, "They're all Nike, I collect limited edition pairs from both Nike and Jordan, I find them awesome, I have so many of them at home."
Nike's new Tiempo Legend VII football is available to purchase right now on Nike.com.
Now, here’s how artist and all-round creative genius Tom Sachs starts his day.