The biggest surprise about Sergio Ramos’ Champions League final performance in Kiev last May is that anyone was surprised by it.
Real Madrid’s captain exhibition of s**thousery triggered fans everywhere while simultaneously ensuring his club completed an historic hat-trick of European Cups.
Did Ramos deliberately injure Mohamed Salah? Probably not.
Would he have been delighted to see the 44-goal Egyptian winger leave the pitch midway through the first half? Of course.
The incident in the 25th minute proved to be decisive that night.
Liverpool had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges before Salah called for medical attention after a tangle with Ramos.
The Spanish centre-back actually completed an inch-perfect tackle on the Premier League Golden Boot winner before clinging onto his arm to ensure Salah joined him face first on the turf.
As Liverpool’s talisman left the field in floods of tears soon after, you could sense the belief drain out of remaining players.
Last night, on the eve of the 13th anniversary of Ramos signing for Real Madrid, the 32-year-old was named as the Champions League’s best defender for 2017/18.
Dejan Lovren clearly wasn’t impressed with the outcome…
But Ramos looked happy enough as he tapped Salah’s shoulder moments after being presented with the award.
Fair play to whoever organised the seating plan…
Street smarts, roughhousing, dirty play… whatever you want to call it, Ramos does it bloody well.
Sure, he’s been shown more yellow and red cards than the vast majority of players in history, but that’s a small price to pay.
Ramos’ combative style is a key reason Real Madrid have won four out of the last five Champions Leagues, a World Cup, two European Championships, four league titles, and everything else.
And it’s instinctive to him.
There’s no way he would thought ‘I’m going to yank Salah’s shoulder out of its socket’ before the game in Kiev kicked off.
Such pre-meditated savagery is not his remit… at least we think it isn’t.
In many ways, Ramos is like Millwall.
Nobody likes him and he doesn’t care…
Those tweets are funny, it’s a great theme.
But here’s the thing, we bet nobody finds them funnier than Ramos himself.
Because he’s not really the butt of the joke, is he?
No matter how many retweets Clive from Hertfordshire gets, Ramos’ medal haul won’t change.
When all is said and done, he’ll be remembered as a big-game player and a serial winner.
Sometimes the old adages are the best — nice guys finish last.
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