Ex-Chelsea ace who scored wondergoal unrecognisable with thick hair and beard

A bunch of iconic former Chelsea stars have descended on Stamford Bridge to take part in a charity match against a team of Bayern Munich legends.

Eleven of the 25 Blues legends involved took part in the club's historic Champions League final victory over Bayern back in 2012, making for a potentially tasty encounter.

Four members of their squad that day, Salomon Kalou, John Obi Mikel, Ramires and Florent Malouda, posed for a photo after arriving at the stadium on Saturday, and fans admitted they barely recognised one of them – who was sporting a thicker-than-usual hairdo and a never-before-seen beard to boot.

"Is that Ramires?? He looks so different wtf," one supporter tweeted. "Ramires with a beard just doesn't look right haha," said another, while a third wrote: "Had to double take before I noticed that was Ramires."

READ MORE: Where Chelsea's 2012 Champions League winners are now as Mikel and Ramires retire

Another commented: "It's funny how Ramires technically only looks slightly different to when when he was a player and yet I almost didn't recognise him lol."

Ramires, whose legendary chip of Victor Valdes turned the tide in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Barcelona, joined the Blues from Benfica in 2010 and went on to make over 250 appearances for the club.

His relentless running and mazy dribbles turned him into a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, and he formed integral parts of trophy-winning Chelsea teams in 2012, 2013 and 2015, either as a central midfielder or out wide.

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He pitched in with a few goals too. His strike against Barcelona is permanently imprinted in the minds of Chelsea fans around the world, but his samba-style solo goal against Manchester in 2011 rivals it, while his FA Cup final goal against Liverpool wasn't bad either.

The midfielder left the club in 2016 after being snapped up by Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, where he would spend the next three years. In 2019 he returned to his native Brazil with Palmeiras before hanging up his boots in 2022.

Ramires will be joined in tonight's Legends of Europe match by several of his former team-mates including John Terry, Petr Cech, Michael Essien and Gary Cahill. The likes of Gianfranco Zola, Claude Makelele, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Carlo Cudicini and Frank Leboeuf are also taking part, while Roberto Di Matteo will be managing from the dugout.

On the Bayern side, the likes of Owen Hargreaves, Claudio Pizarro, Lucio and Roy Makaay have been confirmed, with Stefan Effenberg taking charge from the sidelines.

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All proceeds from the game – which is being played in memory of the late Gianluca Vialli – will be split between The Chelsea Foundation and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity which supports the work of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where the iconic former Chelsea forward and manager was treated.

Kick off is at 19.15pm UK time, and the match will consist of two 30 minute halves, as well as a half-time musical performance from Madness member, and ardent Chelsea fan, Suggs.

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