Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sergio Ramos faces extended Champions League ban after being booked against Ajax

Sergio Ramos may face the wrath of the disciplinary committee of UEFA after accepting hand in actively looking to seek a booking against Ajax

The defender is looking at a potential extended suspension from European football’s body after revealing that he took a deliberate yellow card during Real Madrid’s Champions League win over Ajax on Wednesday night. Karim Benzema put the three-time defending champions in front in the second half thanks to an excellent run from in-form youngster Vinicius Junior, but Ajax pulled level through Hakim Ziyech.

La Liga giants then had to graft and fight till the end, leaving it late but clinching a crucial goal to head into the second leg with the advantage thanks to Marco Asensio’s goal in the 87th minute to secure a precious 2-1 win. Two minutes later, Ramos was shown a yellow card that meant he would miss the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, but should the heavyweights progress, the defender would be available to play the quarterfinals with a clean slate.

Ramos has, however, run the risk of extending his one-game suspension by admitting post the game that his yellow card was premeditated. “Yes, the truth is that seeing the result… it’s something I had in mind,” Ramos said to journalists. “It is not to underestimate the opposition but sometimes you have to make tough decisions.”

This is not the first time Los Blancos’ players have done such a thing to be ready for latter rounds with a clean disciplinary slate. In 2017, right-back Dani Carvajal also intentionally received got himself booked against APOEL, which lead to UEFA extending his ban to two games. Back in 2010, Ramos and Xabi Alonso were handed fines by the continental body, while then manager Jose Mourinho was slapped with a one-match touchline ban after the Portuguese told the two players to get themselves sent off in a group-stage clash against Ajax.

Author’s take:

Most surprising was the fact that Ramos revealed that he got himself booked in order to be available for the quarterfinals should Madrid make it, despite prior experience with such an act leading to UEFA punishing him, his manager and teammates. But it would be very typical of the no-nonsense defender to do such a thing in order to gain the slightest advantage for his team when and if they do make the last 8. It remains to be seen how UEFA react now, and if they will come down on the veteran heavily or let him off the hook with a small punishment.

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