New Aberdeen striker on European song earworm ahead of historic trip to Gothenburg ...but he might have to wait to take penalties
Christian Ramirez cannot be accused of being under rehearsed prior to his Aberdeen debut. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is an adage that he seems to have taken very seriously indeed.
The striker was all but humming the tune to the European Song as he met reporters following his sparkling debut for the club in Thursday’s 5-1 win over BK Hacken in the first leg of their second qualifying round Europa Conference League tie.
He revealed that not only had he studied the playing style of forward partners Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Ryan Hedges as he was set to sign, but he has also since made a point of watching the new Alex Ferguson documentary, Never Give In.
Hence his familiarity with the European Song, released by the club in the countdown to 1983’s European Cup-Winners’ Cup final against Real Madrid.
It’s strange how events sometimes collide. Aberdeen’s next game is the second leg on the Gothenburg archipelago while Real Madrid are due in Scotland tomorrow, when they take on Rangers in a friendly at Ibrox. No wonder Ramirez is getting in the mood.
“I just watched the Sir Alex Ferguson documentary last week and saw the bit about Gothenburg,” he said. “I was trying to picture the European Song that was on the documentary. It just kept playing in my head. I went to the locker room and asked the boys to play the song, but I didn’t know what it was called. I have it now.
“One of my former Minnesota (United) teammates, John Alvbage, actually stays in Sweden also. He was a goalkeeper for us and he messaged me that BK Hacken were a quality side and it will be tough for us in Sweden. They have their Astroturf field but we will be ready. I am excited.”
Ramirez will be looking to protect his goal-a-game average for Aberdeen. He seemed to enjoy an instant connection with Ryan Hedges and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. “I did my homework before I joined,’ he said. “I know the style the manager wants to play and speaking to Allan and seeing videos of Hedges and Jay that I knew there were things we could do together.”
Ramirez seems a polite, well-spoken American who is not about to upset the apple cart. Not yet at least. The centre forward has been the recognised penalty taker at most of his clubs to date. However, when Aberdeen were awarded one at the start of the second half the 30-year-old patted Lewis Ferguson on the back and handed him the ball. Ferguson did what was required.
Only 53 minutes into his competitive Aberdeen career, Ramirez wasn’t about to cause a fuss or attempt to wield his seniority. In any case, the goal he wanted did not take much longer to arrive. The striker slid in the fourth of Aberdeen’s five goals with seven minutes left on a promising night for both the player personally and his side in front of nearly 6,000 appreciative home fans.
“I had been itching to play in that environment and it was awesome…For a lot of the guys it was the first time a lot of us had played in front of crowds in a long time.” He may need to wait a little longer to assume penalty duties.
A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription. https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.