Spanish news outlet El Confidencial has revealed the particulars of a phone call where the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Jose Luis Rubiales and former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos are involved. The conversation dates back to the summer of 2020 when Ramos asked Luis Rubiales to help him win the Ballon d’Or.
The conversation took place between July and August of 2020, shortly after the Los Blancos won the La Liga during the season affected by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Real Madrid came out of the mid-season break in dominant fashion, where Ramos was a huge part of their success, as he scored 13 goals and one assist while being the team’s defensive anchor.
The audio clip starts with Sergio Ramos saying, “Rubi, good evening(…) You know that I have never asked you for anything, but if I want to do it today it is because I think it is a special year for the performance that I have given. I would like you to help me in whatever way you can and play some keys from UEFA and your contacts on the subject of the Ballon d’Or. I would thank you all my life, not only for me but also because I think that Spanish football deserves it very much. I send you a hug. “
Spanish FA president, Luis Rubiales, immediately replied and said, “Hello, Sergio. First of all, congratulations, I think it’s a good year for you to achieve it. I hope you have a magnificent final in the Champions League… Of course, it doesn’t depend on me about the Ballon d’Or, but as far as I can help you, count on it. A huge hug.” The audio was revealed by José María Olmo, head of El Confidencial investigation in an intervention in El Partidazo de Cope.
After the first exchanges in the audio clips, Sergio Ramos urged Luis Rubiales to use his influence to push the deal to go through. “I know that it doesn’t depend on you, but relationships are also key. Infantino gives The Best, which is also super important, and it would be the host. In short, I count on your help,” says the former captain of the Spanish National Team in the audio clip.
The Ballon d’Or eventually went to then Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who had an exceptional season with the club in La Liga and Champions League.