When Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid this past summer, many felt it would lead to their downfall. However, according to the numbers, Ronaldo might not have been Madrid’s most important player – especially in the Champions League.
That honour is shared by captain Sergio Ramos and World Cup winning defender Raphael Varane. The duo have started together in the Champions League on 35 occasions, losing just once – a 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the 2017 semifinal.
They have come away with an incredible 26 wins and eight draws, conceding just 28 goals as a pair.
While Madrid have suffered numerous defeats in the Champions League in these past years, almost all of them have come when either Ramos or Varane was absent from the starting lineup.
Ramos and Varane’s first game as a centre-back pairing came in 2011 at the Bernabeu, a game which Madrid won 6-2 against Dinamo Zagreb.
This season too they have been at their best, keeping clean sheets in both their starts together.