For those who are not Real Madrid fans, Sergio Ramos is a difficult person to like.
The captain of the dominant La Liga team that has now won three European trophies in a row is no stranger to controversy – from his abrasive on-pitch antics, to breaking records for the number of red cards in the Spanish league.
However, after the events of the Champions League final on May 27, his infamy reached an all-time high.
It all started after an incident in the first half when the Spaniard collided with Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah. The injury forced the Egyptian off the pitch, and could possibly result in him losing his spot in the national team during the World Cup if he doesn’t recover in time.
Critics wasted no time in expressing their outrage at Ramos’ foul, with tweets and videos emerging after, exclaiming that he had intentionally fouled Salah. The latter scored 44 goals in the ’17/18 English Premier League and was considered Liverpool’s biggest threat to Los Blancos before the game kicked off.
These tweets garnered a huge reaction online, with some posts having thousands of retweets and favourites:
Clearer footage of Sergio Ramos going for Mohamed Salah’s arm before pulling him down to the other side. What a disgusting act. pic.twitter.com/t7RLzJo5c6
— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) May 27, 2018
The foul on Salah was 100% targeted, let’s just get the straight. The nod from Ramos pretty much confirms it. Class A cheating from Real Madrid in a Cup final yet again. Shock.
— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) May 26, 2018
That incident was just the tip of the iceberg.
Ramos is renowned for doing anything to win a game, and would scrap and claw his way to a victory for his team at all costs. It has been an effective strategy because he had scored winners and saved the team on several occasions with his ‘tactics’.
Then, more footage that incensed fans all around the world emerged, showing what looked like an elbow on Liverpool’s goalkeeper Lorius Karius in an off-the-ball incident which possibly led to the latter suffering a concussion:
Here’s Sergio Ramos elbowing Karius in the head… I hate Ramos with a passion…
— George (@George___Owen) May 26, 2018
Shortly after that incident, Karius would make a vital mistake to allow Karim Benzema to open the scoring for Madrid.
In the second half, Karius made yet another error, letting the ball slip through his fingers and giving Madrid the lead again in the 64th minute – less than ten minutes after Sadio Mane equalised for Liverpool.
Football fans – and especially the Liverpool ones – were furious two players got injured by the same man in one night? The internet’s pitchforks and torches came out in search of a certain Sergio Ramos, who shockingly did not even see yellow.
Soon, every footballing post on social media was accompanied with comments renouncing Ramos. The phrase “Like if you hate Ramos” become a common sight even when it didn’t reference the game.
A petition was set up to punish Ramos and at the time of writing, there have been almost a staggering 530,000 people who have signed it. The petition implores the football governing bodies to take action on players like Ramos who play dirty.
So, what does the number one enemy of Liverpudlians and Egytians have to say all about this?
Unsurprisingly, Ramos thinks that all of this is “blown out of all proportion”, according to sports website AS. He also thinks that fans will go to any lengths to blame him for everything he does, including Liverpool player Roberto Firmino’s poor performance on the night:
“[Salah] pulls my arm first, and I fall on the other side. Then when his other arm is injured, they say that I’ve done a judo move on him. Then the goalkeeper says he is concussed after a clash with me. Now it only needs Firmino to say he got the flu as a drop of my sweat fell on him.”
Not exactly the most sorry about all of this, Ramos has continued to defend his actions, and even some fans (even the ones hating him a few days ago!) have taken to see where he’s coming from:
I want to hate Sergio Ramos, but I just can’t. His sh*thousery effectively played a huge part in helping Madrid win the game. I respect the lengths that he’s willing to go to just for a win. Makes me even more excited for the arrival of Keïta – very similar personality.
— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) June 5, 2018
Sergio Ramos ensures that he rarely loses no matter what, and he doesn’t lose often when it counts. The Andalusian has won a total of 23 major honours in his career, including the World Cup and four Champions Leagues; and his ways have proven effective no matter the cost to the opponent.
If it ain’t broke, am I right?