Spanish defender claims he has been treated as a pantomime villain for performance in Champions League final
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos denies blame for Mo Salah’s injury
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has dismissed allegations that he deliberately injured Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah in last month’s Champions League final, saying he is being unfairly painted as a pantomime villain.
He also poured scorn on the suggestion that a clash with Loris Karius, Liverpool’s goalkeeper who made two howlers to gift the Spanish side their third Champions League trophy in a row, had left the German with a concussion.
Salah injured shoulder ligaments in a tussle with Ramos in Kiev, which led to the Egypt international leaving the pitch in tears in the first half.
Ramos was later targeted for online abuse for his perceived role in Salah’s injury by angry Egyptian fans.
“Bloody hell, they’ve given this a lot of attention - the Salah thing,” the Spain international told Spanish newspaper AS.
“I see the play well, he grabs my arm first and I fell to the other side. The injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold.”
The 32-year-old added that he had messaged Salah and said the Egyptian could have played on if he had taken a painkilling injection - something Ramos has done in the past.
Liverpool lost the final 3-1, allowing Madrid to seal their third Champions League title in a row.
However, two of Madrid’s goals came from blunders by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, who it later emerged had suffered a concussion during the match, according to a specialist who analysed him in the United States.
Karius clashed with Ramos early in the second half and was seen holding the side of his head after the collision, which was before he made the mistakes that led to the goals.
The suggestion that Ramos had caused Karius to suffer a head injury did not go down well with the Spaniard.
“After, the goalkeeper said that I dazed him with a clash,” Ramos said. “I am only missing [Roberto] Firmino saying that he got a cold because a drop of my sweat landed on him.”
Meanwhile, neuropathologist Dr Willie Stewart, who has diagnosed brain disease in professional footballers, told the UK newspaper The Telegraph that football should copy rugby union and allow for temporary substitutions, which would let players suspected of suffering from concussion or other head injuries leave the pitch for in-depth medical assessments.