Some men are born b*******.
Others learn the art of shithousery throughout their careers.
Sergio Ramos was crafted in the shadows, born with a gift for snide behaviour and not afraid to use it.
Ramos has carefully curated his reputation as football’s pantomime villain over the years.
But unlike many others: Diego Costa, Pepe, Joey Barton etc, Ramos has been a relentless winner throughout his career and has mastered the dark arts at the very top of the game, where the spotlight shines the brightest.
Last night Ramos proved his credentials as an utter bastard once again.
In the harsh glare of the Champions League referees and cameras, where light fouls are punished more often, Ramos got away with another crime on the pitch.
During Real’s 5-0 humbling of Viktoria Plzen the centre-back used a heavy-handed and completely unnecessary tactic to make sure the clean sheet stayed intact.
Having already made a clean tackle, Ramos followed through with a sharp elbow to practically break a Plzen player’s nose, leaving him in a crumpled bloody heap.
To understand how deep shithousing runs in Ramos’ blood you have to look at the various situations he goes full Voldemort.
Here’s a case study.
Example number one.
It’s the Champions League final and Real Madrid are going for an unprecedented three-peat of European titles, except Liverpool have the best player in Europe in Mo Salah.
Ramos is the captain of the team and he has seen the devastating impact Salah can have on any defence, himself included.
The stakes are ginormous and in this instance you can understand how a little dirty challenge that *unintentionally* injures the opposition’s best player is worth it.
Executing it without even a yellow card shows his masterful knowledge of the dark arts.
Example number two.
The reigning three-time champions of Europe are playing a team from Pot 4 in a Champions League group stage game and they are dominating with just 10 minutes gone.
Yes the clean sheet is important but they have two more bites at the cherry to impose themselves in the group.
Flying in with a deliberate elbow and leaving yourself vulnerable to a straight red card and your team down to 10 men for the majority of the match is a ludicrous decision.
On some level maybe Ramos couldn’t fight the urge to land a blow on his opponent, even when it was incredibly unnecessary.
In both cases Ramos went unpunished, but unlike the Champions League final Ramos conceded that he was wrong to nearly break someone’s nose after tackling them.
If you believe that you will believe anything.
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