Sergio Ramos says he could have earned more money had he left Real Madrid rather than signing a new five-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Spain defender – who will now captain Real following Iker Casillas’ exit – put pen to paper on a new contract on Monday following weeks of reports suggesting he was close to joining Manchester United.
Ramos, 29, has been with Real since 2005 and stated financial considerations were not a primary reason in renewing his deal.
“Honestly, if it was an economic decision I wouldn’t have stayed,” he said at a news conference.
“I could have earned more elsewhere. It wasn’t a question of money, there were personal and professional things we had to organise. I’ve never spoken of my renewal but obviously, with a contract that had two years to go, whatever the press want to say I respect.
“I wasn’t happy in certain ways but I never said I wanted to leave. I spoke to who I needed to speak to but I couldn’t continue how I was. Those personal things are nothing to do with money.
“The economic situation – the president and I solved that in five minutes. There were other things to talk about.
“I’m not going to talk about money. That never motivated me – happiness and family motivated me.
“I never said I wanted to leave, my idea was always to be here. I wanted to retire here if the president allowed me. I’m very thankful I have a new challenge to be captain of this team and I will do it in the most honest way.”
Ramos etched his name into Real folklore with the equaliser in the 2014 UEFA Champions League final against Atletico Madrid, before Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo secured ‘La Decima’ in extra time.
When it was suggested Real fans could turn against him due to the recent United links, he added: “I think they’ve always given me the same affection, I’ve never felt anything untowards in the stadium.
“The love from the fans has been important to me staying. They ask a lot but the players know the pressure and the responsibility – obviously I have the same affection.
“Out of respect for the club I’ve been quiet [through the negotiations]. Throughout my career I’ve given everything for this club and I will do the same over the next five years.
“We all know the demands at this club but I’m ready for this responsibility to make sure every Madridista is happy.”
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