Imitation is the highest for of flattery.
When you are the captain of a side that has won three back-to-back Champions League titles it would come as no surprise people are trying to replicate your success.
But Sergio Ramos might be surprised to hear the route Felipe Melo is trying to emulate his achievements.
Melo is certainly going down an… unconventional route to global football domination.
After hacking through midfield’s in Italy for the last decade before taking his studs up tackles to Turkey to get sharpened, Melo returned to Brazil with Palmeiras in January 2017.
Since then, he has been making it his business to find glory by doing exactly what Ramos has done – fly in with rash challenges, injure opponents and pick up bookings nearly every week.
Simple as that.
Since the turn of the year Melo has picked up no less than 23 bookings for Palmeiras, two of which have been red cards.
While his teammates and coaches might be tired of his firebrand approach to midfield harrying, Melo has a grand plan and this is all part of it.
After his 23rd booking of the year Melo revealed all.
“I wanted to be like Sergio Ramos, who sees yellow, yellow, yellow, and then is champion of Champions and world champion,” he said.
Unfortunately we are not quite sure it works like that Felipe.
Melo isn’t wrong that Ramos’ unique ability to continually get booked and sent-off while remaining one of the best defenders in the world is impressive.
In his career he has been booked more than any other player in the history of La Liga, the Champions League and the Spanish national team.
Ramos was particularly criticised for his actions in last season’s Champions League final, namely judo throwing Mo Salah and dropping the People’s Elbow on Loris Karius.
He won’t be heading to Liverpool anytime soon, but he does have another Champions League trophy in his cabinet.
The tactic is working pretty well so far for Melo in Brazil’s Serie A as Palmeiras sit joint top of the league with 11 games left and are in a good position to make the Copa Libertadores.
So has Melo figured it all out? Just foul your way to the top.
In the words of Eminem, will the real Sergio Ramos please stand up.
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