Ramón Ramírez (footballer)
|Full name||Jesús Ramón Ramírez Ceceña|
|Date of birth||December 5, 1969|
|Place of birth||Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Jesús Ramón Ramírez Ceceña (born 5 December 1969 in Tepic, Nayarit) is a retired Mexican footballer. He is one of the all-time most capped players for the Mexico national team, and last played as a midfielder for Chivas USA in the Major League Soccer (USA).
Ramirez was meant to be one of the best Mexican players since Hugo Sánchez, but various injuries threatened and stopped his career several times. He was one of the top Mexican footballers in the 1990s, but despite the speculations surrounding his talents, he never moved to Europe to play for a much more competitive club.
Ramirez started his career in Santos Laguna in 1990, and since the beginning, he showed his skills in the midfield. His talent made him one of the most promising players of the time, and was rewarded with a call for the Mexico national football team in 1991.
In the 1991–1992 season, in a match against America, Carlos Alberto "El Escorpión" Carrillo, a defender of that team fractured his tibia and fibula. This caused him to miss the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games with the Mexico team, and a lack of form after the physical recovery. He managed come back after several months, to continue with brilliant displays with Santos Laguna, and in 1993, he recovered his spot in the national team. He played with Santos Laguna until 1994, year in which he played the final of the Mexican tournament, which he lost against Tecos UAG.
His performance in the international tournaments in which Mexico national team participated, attracted the attention of several teams, and in 1994 (after he played in the final with Santos Laguna) he was transferred to Guadalajara, one of the biggest clubs in Mexico. With this team, he lived his best displays on the field. This culminated in 1997, when he got the championship of the Mexican tournament. In 1998, he played another final with Guadalajara against Necaxa, but this time he lost. In 1999, after a lot of speculation and rumors, he was transferred against his will to America, the biggest rival of Guadalajara, a team where he was an idol to the fans. This caused a lot of controversy, since he was an emblematic player of his team.
This transfer to the rival club, caused him a lack of form, perhaps due to depression. This turned to be evident in a match between America and his former team, when he scored a goal: the moment was so shocking for him, that he didn't know how to react. Fortunately for him, that goal didn't count due to offside.
His lack of form ruled him out of America at the end of the Summer 1999 season. He was then, transferred to Tigres UANL. In this team, he had difficult times to recover; he wasn't even registered with his preferred number 7 (retired in honour to the peruvian player Gerónimo Barbadillo in 1982). He slowly found his form again, and this awarded him another call for Mexico national team. In the Winter 2001 season, he played again in the final of the Mexican tournament, but he lost again, this time against Pachuca. However, he played in this match as a substitute.
In 2000, when he was traveling to attend a call for the national team, he had a car accident in which 4 persons died. This accident caused him a major lack of form.
For the summer 2002 season, he returned to his beloved team Guadalajara. Constant injuries caused him to miss several matches, but again he displayed his talent, although irregularly. He reached the final of the Clausura 2004 season, but lost on penalty kicks against Pumas UNAM. At the end of the Clausura 2004 season, he joined Chivas USA.
In Chivas USA he played the last part of his career, being the captain of the team. He retired from the fields in 2007.
He had his first call for the Mexico national team in 1991 as a promising young talent, and after recovering from a tibia and fibula fracture in 1993, he played regularly for Mexico until 2000.
His first major appearance for the Mexico team, was in the Copa América 1993 in Ecuador; the Mexico coach then was Miguel Mejia Baron. Strangely, Ramirez was used by the coach as a left defender (probably because there were no left-footed defenders at the time in Mexico) rather than as a left winger/playmaker, position which he performed in his team and which awarded him the call for the national team. That Mexico team was well balanced, and performed very well. They got to the final match in that tournament, but lost 2-1 against a powerful Argentine team.
Ramon Ramirez was again called to be part of the Mexico national team for the World Cup USA 1994. He performed well, but in the same left defender position. The Mexico team reached only the Round of 16, they lost to Bulgaria.
He also participated in the Copa América Uruguay 1995. The Mexico team performed poorly, and ended in 7th place of 12 teams. They tied to USA in quarter finals and were dismissed on penalty kicks. In 1997, he missed the Copa América in Bolivia.
In 1998, he returned to participate in the World Cup France 98. In this tournament, he had a more offensive role (the one he used to have in his club), giving one assist to Cuauhtémoc Blanco to score against Belgium. However, he was sent off in the match against Holland (after a confusion of the referee, who was supposed to book another player), so he was suspended to the Round of 16 match against Germany, which eventually was the last match of Mexico.
Ramon Ramirez scored 15 goals in 121 caps for his country.
|1.||April 18, 1993||Mexico City, Mexico||El Salvador||3–1||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2.||April 25, 1993||Mexico City, Mexico||Canada||4–0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3.||April 25, 1993||Mexico City, Mexico||Canada||4–0||Win||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4.||June 30, 1993||Quito, Ecuador||Ecuador||2–0||Win||1993 Copa América|
|5.||July 11, 1993||Mexico City, Mexico||Martinique||9–0||Win||1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|6.||December 14, 1994||Mexico City, Mexico||Hungary||5–1||Win||Friendly|
|7.||January 13, 1995||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Nigeria||1–1||Win||1995 King Fahd Cup|
|8.||May 18, 1996||Chicago, United States||Slovakia||5–2||Win||Friendly|
|9.||May 18, 1996||Chicago, United States||Slovakia||5–2||Win||Friendly|
|10.||September 21, 1996||San Pedro Sula, Honduras||Honduras||1–2||Loss||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|11.||November 20, 1996||Los Angeles, United States||El Salvador||3–1||Win||Friendly|
|12.||December 16, 1997||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Brazil||2–3||Loss||1997 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|13.||February 4, 1998||Oakland, United States||Trinidad and Tobago||4–2||Win||1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|14.||February 20, 2000||San Diego, United States||Canada||1–2||Loss||2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|15.||September 3, 2000||Mexico City, Mexico||Panama||7–1||Win||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|