Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nascimento Ramires

    Name: Nascimento Ramires
    Nationality: Brazilian
    Date of Birth: 24/03/1987
    Height: 180 cm
    Weight: 73.0 kg
    Previous Clubs: Benfica
    Position: Midfielder

Chelsea career
Ramires Santos do Nascimento joined Chelsea in the summer of 2010 on a four-year contract after one season with Benfica.

A Chelsea debut arrived in a 2-0 win against Stoke in late August, Ramires appearing for the final few minutes in place of Michael Essien, before a first start at West Ham and full games against Blackpool in the Premier League and Newcastle in the Carling Cup.

In total there were 22 starts in his first campaign, with the Brazilian providing a committed presence during the side's winless two months between November and December, and winning a late penalty at White Hart Lane that gave us the chance to beat Spurs.

A first Chelsea goal arrived in the 4-0 demolition of Bolton Wanderers in late January, and the mobbing he received showed how popular the player is at Stamford Bridge.

In late March he scored his second Chelsea goal, dancing between two Manchester City defenders before firing high into the top corner. It was a strike deemed worthy of the club's Goal of the Season award by supporters.

Ramires missed our pre-season tour of Asia in 2011 due to Copa America duty, but returned to England in sparkling form, and proved a key component in  Andre Villas-Boas's Chelsea at the start of the 2011/12 campaign, figuring as a regular on the right of a midfield three, and contributing greater drive going forward. Two early season goals against Swansea suggested a bright campaign ahead.

The Brazilian remained an important part of the midfield throughout the autumn and winter, before a medial ligament injury to his right knee in the FA Cup win at QPR threatened to keep him out for a month.

However, he only missed three games before coming back and played consistently well upon his return. His goalscoring tended to come in spurts, with two four-in-six purple patches, including the second in our crucial 3-0 win over Valencia in early December.

Under Roberto Di Matteo, he has tended to feature as the right winger in a front three, providing more energy and defensive support down that flank, and he made a massive impact as the season drew to a close, developing a reputation as a big-game player.

Ramires scored the crucial third goal at Wembley as we beat Tottenham 5-1 in the FA Cup semi-final, before netting a sublime chip in the Camp Nou during our 2-2 draw in the Champions League semi-final, a game which also saw him pick up a booking which ruled him out of the Final.

It was Wembley joy for the likeable Brazilian once again when he opened the scoring in the FA Cup Final, racing on to a Juan Mata pass before driving past Pepe Reina, and while he played no part in our Champions League Final success, he had undoubtedly done as much as anybody to bask in the victory.

Illness ruled Ramires out of our opening game of the 2012/13 campaign at Wigan, but he returned to the starting line-up three days later for the 4-2 win against Reading.

After ending the 2011/12 campaign playing wide on the right, this season has seen Ramires deployed more often than not in a more familiar defensive midfield role alongside John Mikel Obi.

It's a role he has carried out with aplomb, particularly in the wins against both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, although he is still liable to chip in with crucial strikes from deep, as testified with successive goals against Manchester United, both in the Premier League and Capital One Cup.

Ramires spent one season with Benfica in which he helped them storm to the Liga Sagres title, five points clear of Braga in second place.

During that campaign, the 23-year-old midfielder made 26 league appearances, scoring four times including a last-minute winner against Vitoria Guimaraes on his debut.

Rio-born Ramires signed for Benfica from Cruzeiro, on the day he earned his first call-up to the full Brazil squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup, a tournament they easily won, and he went on to help them qualify for the World Cup.

Comfortable in either the centre or the right of midfield, he spent just over two seasons in Belo Horizonte with Cruzeiro, whom he joined from Joinville in 2007, and became a state champion appearing in 61 league matches and scoring 10 times.

International career
Ramires made his Brazil debut in the summer of 2009 and was an ever-present as they lifted the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Picked in Dunga's 23-man squad for the World Cup a year later, he appeared in four of their five matches but was suspended for the 2-1 defeat to Holland in the quarter-finals after accumulating two yellow cards. His only start was against Chile in the first knockout round.

After competing for Brazil at the 2011 Copa America, he endured a lengthy spell in the international wilderness, before being recalled to the national squad for a friendly in August, 2012.

One month later, he scored in Brazil's 8-0 friendly win over China.

Ramires was also a member of the Brazil squad which took part at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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