Ramires Santos do Nascimento (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁaˈmiɾes ˈsɐ̃tus du nasiˈmẽtu]; born 24 March 1987), known simply as Ramires, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Chinese club Jiangsu Suning and the Brazil national team. A midfielder, he's comfortable playing in either the centre or right midfielder position. He normally plays as a box-to-box midfielder role because of his energy in supporting defensive and offensive play.

Ramires began his career playing for Royal Sport Club, at Barra do Piraí, 114 km north-west of Rio de Janeiro. In 2005, he signed for Joinville, before joining Cruzeiro, with whom he spent just over two seasons, appearing in 61 league matches and scoring 10 times. In 2009, Ramires moved to Portugal and signed for Benfica from Cruzeiro. He spent one season with Benfica in which he helped them to the Primeira Liga title and Taça da Liga. He then joined English club Chelsea in the summer of 2010 on a four-year contract, and won five different domestic and European competitions with them.

Ramires is a Brazilian international, making his debut on 6 June 2009 in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification game against Uruguay. He was in the teams which won the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, as well as playing in two World Cups and the 2011 Copa América.

Club career

Cruzeiro

In January 2008, Ramires agreed to a five-year deal with Cruzeiro in a permanent move from Joinville for a fee of $300,000 following a loan period, giving Cruzeiro seventy percent of the player's economic rights. Joinville kept thirty percent in the event of any transfers in the future. He was referred to by the fans and media throughout his time there as the "Queniano Azul", or "Blue Kenyan", due to Cruzeiro's blue kit and his endurance, which was considered reminiscent of Kenyan runners, who're famous for winning a large number of Brazilian running marathons.

Benfica

On 21 May 2009, Ramires joined Portuguese club Benfica for €7.5 million on a five-year contract with a minimum fee release of €30 million. Ramires starred as an important player for Benfica throughout the season, as the Portuguese club won their 32nd league title after a five-year wait. Ramires, in his first and only season with Benfica, additionally won the Taça da Liga, beating Porto 3–0. In June 2010, Benfica sold fifty percent of the economic rights to Ramires to English player agency Jazzy Limited, directed by Kia Joorabchian, for €6 million.

Chelsea

On 4 August 2010, Benfica announced they had agreed a deal with defending English Premier League champions Chelsea and his third-party owner for €22 million. Ramires completed his move to Chelsea on 13 August, signing a four-year contract. He was handed the number 7 shirt, previously worn by Ukrainian international Andriy Shevchenko.

2010–11 season

28 August 2010, Ramires made his debut for Chelsea against Stoke City in the Premier League. He came on as an 84th minute substitute for Michael Essien as Chelsea won the match 2–0. On 11 September 2010, he made his full Premier League debut, starting against West Ham United at Upton Park, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–3 win. He started in Chelsea's 2–0 win over Arsenal on 3 October 2010, winning possession and then putting Ashley Cole through to cross to Didier Drogba for Chelsea's first goal.

On 29 December 2010, Ramires started in Chelsea's 1–0 win over Bolton Wanderers, where his performance was praised and was known to have his best game with Chelsea to date, where he made several runs forward and strong tackles winning the ball several times in the midfield. On Chelsea's return fixture at Bolton, Ramires scored his first goal as a Chelsea player in a 0–4 victory at Reebok Stadium. On 15 January 2011, he played the full 90 minutes against Blackburn Rovers in a 2–0 win at Stamford Bridge. On 1 March, he started and played the full 90 minutes in the 2–1 league win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

On 20 March, Ramires scored his second Premier League goal in a 2–0 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. He scored alongside fellow Brazilian David Luiz and made a superb individual effort, dribbling past three City defenders and scoring past Joe Hart in the top-left corner, which earned him "Goal of the Season" honours for Chelsea. These performances made Ramires a fan favourite amongst Chelsea fans, who nicknamed him "Rambo" due to his tendency to destroy the opposition one by one. He additionally has the nickname "Ray Mears" for the way he goes venturing into the oppositions half and the similarity it has with his name. On 12 April, he received a second yellow card for a challenge on Nani against Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford. On 8 May, Ramires came on as a second-half substitute for Mikel John Obi against Manchester United again at Old Trafford in a 2–1 defeat, which effectively gave their rivals the title. At the end of the campaign, he made 41 appearances and scored two goals for Chelsea in all competitions.

2011–12 season

On 24 September 2011, Ramires scored two goals in a 4–1 victory over Swansea City in the Premier League. He then scored a goal against Everton, sliding the ball in from a Juan Mata cross. He suffered a knee injury shortly after, however, but the game ended 3–1 in Chelsea's favour. This appearance was his fiftieth for the club. On 1 November 2011, Ramires scored his first Champions League goal for Chelsea against Racing Genk.

Ramires scored his fifth goal of the season in a decisive Champions League encounter against Spanish side Valencia CF. The final score was 3–0 in favour of Chelsea. He scored his sixth goal of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 2–1 away win, lifting the ball from a tight position into the top left corner of the goalpost, leaving Wolves' goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey beaten. On 8 January 2012, Ramires scored his seventh and eighth goals of the 2011–12 season against Portsmouth in the FA Cup, beating his personal record of goals in a season. On 28 January, Ramires was stretchered off in the fourth round tie of the FA Cup against Queens Park Rangers. Two hours later, Chelsea coach André Villas-Boas revealed that the Brazilian would be out for three to four weeks.

On 5 March 2012, Ramires signed a new five-year contract, keeping him at Chelsea until 2017. Ramires additionally scored against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final, helping his team beat their rivals 5–1 on the day and progressing to the final.

On 18 April, Ramires took a pass from Frank Lampard and setup Didier Drogba's additional time goal in Chelsea's shocking 1–0 victory over FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals at Stamford Bridge. Ramires, already booked throughout the first leg, received a yellow card in the second leg at Camp Nou, which would rule him out of the final. In a performance compared to Roy Keane (who scored to inspire his team to a comeback victory in the 1999 champions league semi-finals notwithstanding already being suspended for the final with accumulated bookings), Ramires scored a fantastic lobbed shot over Víctor Valdés to help send Chelsea through to the final as his goal levelled the aggregate score at 2–2 while putting Chelsea ahead on away goals. Assisted by Frank Lampard, this goal later was later chosen as Chelsea's "Goal of the Season." Chelsea teammate Fernando Torres added another goal in stoppage time to give Chelsea a 3–2 victory on aggregate and spot in the final with Bayern Munich in the final on 19 May. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to play in the final as he had accumulated yellow cards in the competition. Nevertheless, Chelsea emerged victorious against the Bavarians, winning 4–3 on penalties after a 1–1 finish.

On 5 May, Ramires took a pass from Juan Mata and scored at Pepe Reina's near post against Liverpool in the FA Cup Final, helping Chelsea to a 2–1 victory with the help of a second strike from Didier Drogba. Ramires later scored his fifth Premier League goal against Liverpool at Anfield; Chelsea, however, went on to lose the game 1–4.

Ramires ended a personally successful season by being nominated for the Chelsea Player of the Year award, but lost out to midfielder Juan Mata. He did, however, win the Players' Player of the Year Award and Goal of the Year award for his chip against Barcelona, his second successive win, while scoring 12 goals, nine assists, and 4,081 minutes of playing time in 47 official appearances.

2012–13 season

Ramires played all of the 2012 FA Community Shield and assisted Fernando Torres for the opener and filled in for Branislav Ivanović at right back after the Serbian was sent off for a foul on Aleksandar Kolarov, with the team eventually losing 2–3 to Manchester City. He scored his first goal of the 2012–13 season against FC Nordsjælland in the Champions League in a 0–4 away win. On 28 October 2012, he scored in a 3–2 Premier League defeat against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. He scored again against Manchester United in Chelsea's next match on 31 October, as Chelsea overcame United 5–4 to progress to the quarter-finals of the Football League Cup. On 23 December, Ramires came in as a substitute for Frank Lampard and scored two goals in the last 15 minutes against Aston Villa, finishing off an emphatic 8–0 victory.

On 10 March 2013, Ramires scored yet another goal against Manchester United, the equaliser in a 2–2 draw at Old Trafford in the FA Cup Sixth Round. In Chelsea's second-to-last Premier League game of the season, away to Aston Villa, Ramires picked up two yellow cards in the first half and was sent off; Chelsea went on to win the game 1–2, however, thanks to two goals from Frank Lampard, who set the goal-scoring record at the club with his second strike, and secured Champions League football for the 2013–14 campaign. Ramires' final appearance of the season came in the Europa League Final against former club Benfica, as Chelsea won 2–1 through an injury-time Ivanović header, thus fitting the first team to hold the Champions League and Europa League trophies simultaneously.

Later career

On 24 September 2013, Ramires scored his first goal of the 2013–14 season against Swindon Town in the Football League Cup. On 28 September, he made his hundredth Premier League appearance in a 1–1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. On 1 October, he scored twice as Chelsea beat Steaua București 4–0 in the group stage of the Champions League. Ramires scored his first Premier League goal of the season on 14 December in a home game against Crystal Palace, putting Chelsea 2–1 up, which eventually proved to be the winner.

He was named in the starting eleven for Chelsea's match against Crystal Palace on 3 May 2015, but was taken ill before kick-off with kidney illness. He missed the match, which Chelsea won 1–0 to win the league title. The League victory meant that, along with his team mates Gary Cahill, John Terry, Branislav Ivanović and John Obi Mikel, Ramires had won every major domestic and European trophy throughout his time at Chelsea.

On 29 October 2015, Ramires signed a four-year contract extension. Notwithstanding after Guus Hiddink replaced José Mourinho at the club, he found himself reserved to the bench, even though he was in the starting line-up 15 of 23 times.

Jiangsu Suning

On 29 January 2016, Ramires joined Chinese club Jiangsu Suning on a four-year contract with the transfer fee being a reported £25 million. The fee was a Chinese record, but was broken twice in the following ten days with the acquisitions of fellow South Americans Jackson Martínez and Alex Teixeira, the latter teaming up with Ramires. Ramires was sent off in the 94th minute of his debut in the 3–2 win against Jeonbuk Motors in the AFC Champions League for a push on a Jeonbuk player. On 5 March 2016, Ramires scored three minutes into his Chinese Super League debut in a 3–0 win against Shandong Luneng before assisting compatriot Alex Teixeira for the second goal.

International career

Ramires (right) celebrates Neymar's goal for Brazil against Scotland at the Emirates Stadium in March 2011.
Ramires playing for Brazil against Mexico at the 2014 World Cup

On 21 July 2008, Ramires was named as the replacement for Robinho on the Brazil under-23 team for the 2008 Summer Olympics at Beijing. He appeared four times at the Olympics, as Brazil went on to earn the third-placed bronze medal.

On 21 May 2009, Ramires was called up for the first time to the Brazilian national team for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Ramires played his first game for the national team on 6 June 2009, a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification game against Uruguay, in which he came as a substitute for Elano.

Ramires scored his first International goal on 7 June 2010 against Tanzania leading up to the World Cup finals in South Africa. He scored again later on in the game setting the score to 5–1. In the Round of 16 at the World Cup, he made a run past three Chilean defenders to set up Robinho for the third goal in a 3–0 victory. Dunga, the then-Brazilian coach, blamed their quarter-final loss to the Netherlands on the absence of Ramires, who was serving suspension. Ramires was named in a 23-man squad for the 2011 Copa América tournament held in Argentina.

On 2 June, Ramires was named in Brazil's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He featured in all seven games – two starts – as they came fourth on home soil.

Style of play

Ramires is a central midfielder who's known in particular for his hard work ethic, and stamina. He is primarily played on right side of the midfield now a central midfield, due to his energy, consistency, ability to read the game, and high work rate, which enables him to break down opposition plays, and subsequently start an attack after winning back possession. Although not as technically skilful as his compatriots such as Neymar and Willian, he nevertheless possesses good technique, which allows him to produce moments of attacking brilliance, as exemplified by his Goal of the Year awards whilst at Chelsea.

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 1 November 2016
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Joinville2006143143
Cruzeiro
200732320343
20082561153611
200941111152
Brazil total75132449919
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupEurope/OtherTotal
Benfica2009–102640041120425
S.L Benfica total2640041120425
Chelsea2010–11292301080412
2011–1230564101034712
2012–133556241171629
2013–143013021112464
2014–15242101031293
2015–16122102160213
Chelsea total16017206113557246137
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupFA Super CupAFC Champions LeagueTotal
Jiangsu Suning2016264411050365
Career total287382471649613423166

1Includes one appearance in the 2012 FA Community Shield and one appearance in the 2015 FA Community Shield.

International

As of 9 September 2014
Brazil national team
YearAppsGoals
2009100
2010102
201170
201261
201381
2014110
Total524

Honours

Club

Cruzeiro
Benfica
Chelsea

Country

Brazil

Individual