Thanks to a few day's worth of persistent rumours, Ramires' departure to China -- the price is rumoured at between £20 and £25 million -- can hardly be categorised as a surprise. So the fact that Chelsea have now announced this as done and dusted is only news in the sense that this is official, and it provides a nice marker to celebrate the achievements of one of the strangest footballers we've hosted at Stamford Bridge.
Ramires was reckless, both in possession and out. He couldn't really pass the ball very well. Sometimes, for no discernible reason, he failed to score from half a yard out. But at his best he was brilliant. Although he didn't feature in the 2012 Champions League final, he was probably Chelsea's best player for the rest of that run. He had inexhaustible stamina and the ability to play virtually anywhere in the midfield while making an impact. During one memorable game, he found himself in a depleted defence, 2-0 down at the Camp Nou. And therefore he scored this goal:
Ramires began his career with us as a rotation option, and he's leaving as a rotation option as well. But thanks to that goal against Barcelona, he'll be seared into memory and legend forever. Godspeed, Ramires.