The Buzz: 'El Corazon De Sergio Ramos' Steals Viewers’ Hearts
With novelty shows and remarkable films already in its repertoire, it’s no wonder that Amazon Prime has shifted attention onto documentaries. In its latest El Corazon De Sergio Ramos, Sergio Ramos, renown soccer player and captain of Real Madrid, steps off the soccer field and into the spotlight. That isn’t to say he doesn’t play soccer in the documentary; on the contrary, soccer is a ginormous portion of the show. As it very well should be. El Corazon De Sergio Ramos, “Sergio Ramos’ Heart” in English, is an inside peak into Ramos’ professional and personal life. Filming took place in 2018 and luckily, or unluckily for Real Madrid, this happened to coincide with a losing streak for Real Madrid that nearly cost them their reputation. What was initially meant to follow the private life of Sergio Ramos, ended up by chance cataloguing the various challenges and obstacles hindering Real Madrid.
When the series begins, Real Madrid is already facing the consequences of having one of their star players, Cristiano Ronaldo, switch to Italy’s Juventus. As if that wasn’t enough, they had recently lost a Sevilla match against England, causing Spain’s faith in their competency to waver. Much like the game itself, the series is rather fast paced. At a total of eight episodes, each amassing about twenty-five minutes or less, the show is a binge-worthy treat. It is a show chalk full of high-highs and low-lows. In the span of one episode, Ramos both wins an award for his achievements in soccer and faces a devastating loss against FC Barcelona in an El Clàsico match, one of many depicted in the series.
El Corazon De Sergio Ramos is probably as close to reality tv as Amazon Prime will ever get. Each episode begins with a brief introduction by Ramos himself. The documentary features clips of soccer matches and interviews intercut with direct addresses from Ramos and close observations of him and his loved ones. Initially, Ramos’ direct addresses feel a bit stiff or rehearsed, but as the series progresses, he gets more natural and honest. In episode three, Ramos goes from scripted or general platitudes about his team to a genuine discussion about how he pities his former coach, Julen Lopetegui, but understands that both the club and the fans expect results. Ramos is at his most honest when the camera acts as an observer. Granted, as with any autobiography or documentary, certain discussions are clearly prompted, but the reactions and opinions given feel more at ease. It’s touching to witness Ramos play around with his children or relax with his brother-turned-agent.
Every documentary has a thesis, whether directly stated or implied. The thesis for El Corazon De Sergio Ramos is a two parter. One, that Sergio Ramos is one of the greatest soccer players in modern history, and two, that Coach Lopetegui was to blame for the Real Madrid’s losing streak. While the latter is not officially stated, this opinion is made clear through the inclusion of heavy media coverage that criticize Coach Lopetegui as well as how quickly Real Madrid’s luck appears to change with the appointment of their new coach, Santiago Solari. Ironically enough, Solari was fired from his position as well earlier this year. For the former, the series makes no mention of how Ramos, while undeniably skilled, holds the record for most red cards in the entirety of La Liga, Spain’s professional soccer division.
These are part of the inner politics of soccer that the series covers; although Real Madrid is not the focal point of the show, Sergio Ramos is. Every episode is entitled after the topic it depicts, each one a valuable commodity to Ramos, starting from Ramos’ family – wife Pilar and their three sons – and ending at his legacy.
The problem with El Corazon De Sergio Ramos is the same problem every documentary or self-disclosure faces. John T. Caldwell, a professor and scholar of film studies, argues that there is no such thing as an honest or accurate self-disclosure since the information given is both regulated and intended to sway the opinion of the public. An example would be how although Spain won some of the 2018 World Cup matches, the show makes no mention of how France ultimately took home the World Cup.
This oversight is excused given that most of the time is spent on the games between Real Madrid and their biggest competitor, FC Barcelona. These two are eternal rivals, the Sharks and the Jets of their kind. In the El Clàsico games, the series neither hides nor draws attention away from Real Madrid’s several loses against Barca or Ramos’ frustration at them. Ramos is even seen cursing and swearing at one of the El Clàsico games when he is benched. The series does a brilliant job at eliciting tension and suspense through intercuts. Even though these games happened last year, and the results are already determined, it still feels gripping.
Sergio Ramos is Spanish, as such, the show is spoken entirely in the Spanish language. For those that don’t speak Spanish, there is no worry about a language barrier. Apart from a short interview in episode four, subtitles are always provided alongside repeated pop-ups indicating someone’s name and their connection to Ramos. Audiences don’t need to play soccer to relate to Ramos, they just need to understand the drive to succeed, to do better, and to take pride in a passion. El Corazon De Sergio Ramos is a celebration of Ramos not just as a player, but as a man.