Ramires has today joined Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning in a permanent transfer.
The 28-year-old departs Stamford Bridge after five-and-a-half years as a Chelsea player, in which time he helped us lift every major domestic and European trophy.
Arriving in the summer of 2010, the Brazilian international gradually imposed himself with his strong running and tough tackling, scoring the club’s Goal of the Season in March that season with a fine solo effort against Manchester City.
More goals were added in his second campaign in England, including strikes at Wembley in both the semi and the final of the FA Cup as he lifted his first Chelsea silverware, though his most memorable contribution came away in the Camp Nou. With us trailing Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg, the Brazilian latched onto a Frank Lampard through ball before sublimely chipping Victor Valdes to put us back in front in the tie.
A yellow card on the night meant he was suspended when we lifted the trophy in Munich, but Ramires had done as much as anybody to help us reach the final, and the goal earned him a second successive Goal of the Season accolade.
A year later he was on the field as we added the Europa League to a burgeoning trophy cabinet, and it was Ramires’s energetic late run that won the corner from which Branislav Ivanovic headed the winning goal. That 2012/13 season ended with the midfielder having played 62 of 69 games.
The former Benfica man remained an important figure under Jose Mourinho, largely as a holding midfielder but also as a right-sided winger charged with tracking back. It was on the flank he helped secure significant results away at Manchester City and Liverpool, bravely playing through the pain barrier in one win at Anfield and earning glowing praise from his manager for doing so.
Last season he started the Capital One Cup final against Spurs at Wembley before adding a Premier League winner’s medal to his collection.
In total, Ramires made 251 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 34 goals. We thank him for his service and wish him well in China, where he will be coached by another former Blue, Dan Petrescu.