Ramires: Player Profile

Mourinho’s Engine For The Title 

Personal information
Full name: Ramires Santos do Nascimento
Date of birth: 24 March 1987
Age: 26
Place of birth: Barra do PiraĆ­, Brazil
Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Club information
Current club: Chelsea
Number: 7

Youth career
2004–2005: Royal Sport Club
2005–2006: Joinville

Senior career
2006–2007: Joinville 14 Appearances, 3 Goals
2007–2009: Cruzeiro 85 Appearances, 18 Goals
2009–2010: Benfica 43 Appearances, 5 Goals
2010–2014 Chelsea 180 Appearances, 27 Goals

National team 
2008: Brazil U23 9 Appearances, 0 Goals
2009– Brazil 40 Appearances, 4 Goals

Things are so far going to plan for Jose Mourinho and, in Ramires, he has a dependable running machine.

With constant changes elsewhere, Ramires gets picked nearly every time, whether as a central midfield partner for Frank Lampard or John Obi Mikel, or in a more advanced position on the right.

Talk about covering the ground. Up and down, the 26-year-old shows real desire and determination in breaking up attacks or surging forward to try and make things happen in the final third.

No wonder they used to call him ‘The Blue Kenyan’ back in Brazil. Playing for Cruzeiro (who also wear blue); Ramires ate up the miles like a marathon runner.

That prodigious stamina has never left him. It must be classed, in fact, as the biggest strength of a Brazilian not blessed with the silky skills of so many compatriots.

What he does possess, however, is a fantastic appetite for the game. It would be rare to see Ramires cruising through matches, shying away from taking responsibility.

Ramires, in contrast, must be one of the first names on his Chelsea manager’s team sheet.

A trusted lieutenant alongside the likes of John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Oscar, this running machine rarely fails to deliver.

That is what Mourinho wants; consistency, stability, a side that can produce a seven-out-of-10 performance on their off days.

When a response is required, Chelsea turns up the heat to overpower their opponents in impressive style.

Just like old times, Mourinho may have thought. If so, Ramires must take great credit as someone the manager can implicitly trust.

Sitting third on the log, playing superb football, it's been a fantastic season for Chelsea thus far.

Their league position suggests a team at the heart of the title race. Chelsea have been in superb form and started the new year with a solid 3-0 win away to Southampton.

Ramires’ form this season has rendered void the belief Chelsea need another body in the middle of the pitch.

Ramires cost the club £20 million in 2010 and he's probably saved them that this term.

No player has tackled more for his team in the league, started more games or, where Chelsea's midfielders are concerned, made more interceptions.

Ramires has found the back of the net just once in the Premier League this season, but that statistic shouldn't cloud the contribution he has given the Blues.

Operating in the middle of the park, Ramires is ensuring Chelsea control matches in terms of possession and flow while dictating proceedings.

It's vital and, with so much attacking talent ahead of him, the need for Ramires to play further forward is not as essential as it may seem.

In seasons past, he has attempted to influence games upfield, but what we're seeing this term is a different Ramires—one who is adapting to the ethics of his manager, growing in maturity and breaking free of the shackles from his younger years.

He has a pass completion rate of 88 per cent, a stat enforcing the notion Ramires is the man driving this Chelsea team forward and helping his teammates control matches.

It's been discussed at great length since Claude Makelele left Chelsea and will continue to be when defensive midfielders are raised; Makelele was a big part of the foundation Mourinho built during his first spell in charge and now Ramires is the man taking over the mantle.

The Brazilian isn't quite at Makelele's level just yet, although he's showing he has the attributes to rival the Frenchman's influence.

This season marks Ramires' fourth in West London and with Mourinho's return ushering in a new dawn, it seems we're beginning to see the best of him.