Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos was a well-loved figure during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu. AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

There was a lot of hype surrounding the return of former Real Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. The moment finally came on Sunday night when Los Blancos hosted his current club, Sevilla FC, in a La Liga clash. However, the fans' reaction was not exactly what Ramos would have hoped.

Ramos played for Real Madrid from 2005 to 2017 and was wearing the captain's armband by the time he left in 2021. Throughout 12 glorious seasons with the club, Ramos won numerous trophies, including five UEFA Champions League titles. His departure from the club was an emotional affair, and many believed that his return would be equally charged with positive vibes.

However, it came as somewhat of a surprise perhaps even to Ramos himself, that the Santiago Bernabeu was not as warm as expected when he arrived with the Sevilla squad on Sunday. The two teams faced each other in a La Liga match that could prove to be crucial for the title race for the hosts and for the relegation battle for the visitors.

The match marked Ramos' first opportunity to return to the Santiago Bernabeu as part of an opposing team. He missed his previous chance while playing for Paris Saint-Germain in last year's Champions League, when the two teams played in the round-of-16. At the time, he was sidelined due to injury when the French giants travelled to the Spanish capital.

This time, Ramos is perfectly fit and was part of Sevilla's starting eleven. However, as the Sevilla team bus pulled into the stadium, there were audible whistles and insults that were being directed at Ramos. Some fans were also happy to see him of course, and many lined up to try to get a photo or an autograph.

He was also met with applause when his name was called before the match, but there were definite whistles from the crowd whenever he touched the ball. It was a major sign of disrespect from some people in the stands at the Bernabeu, and quite a far cry from the expected reception from the home crowd.

The club itself did not make any official acknowledgement of their previous captain, but that is understandable considering the fact that he is there to play for the opponent. After all, they already hailed him as a legend during his institutional farewell in the summer of 2021.

Ramos is no stranger to whistles from the Bernabeu of course, having endured it himself coming from frustrated fans at certain periods during his time with the club. He played a good game for Sevilla nevertheless, providing great cover at the back to neutralise Madrid's attack.

It was only fellow veteran Luka Modric who found a way to smash through Sevilla's defence, and he did it with major aplomb. The Croatian came in as a substitute and scored a scorching goal in the 81st minute from a few meters outside the box.

Real Madrid players were delighted to see Ramos

Speaking of Modric, he was at least one of the people inside the Bernabeu who was clearly delighted to see Ramos there. He was seen sharing a tight hug with Ramos at the end of the match, and the two of them exchanged a few words before trading shirts. They both had big grins across their faces as they showed how happy they were to be reunited.

Modric, now 38 years old, had nothing but positive words to say about his former captain. When asked about Ramos, 37, Modric said: "Sergio Ramos is my brother and he's a real legend. People always judge us by our age but his level is simply outstanding. I loved seeing him today",

Another Real Madrid veteran, Toni Kroos, also paid tribute to Ramos by sharing a photo of himself being restrained by his former captain during a heated moment on the pitch. The German was frustrated at the referees, and Ramos was quick to jump in between, just like old times.

The latest win puts Real Madrid eighth points clear at the top of La Liga, while Sevilla is all the way down in 15th place.