Sergio Ramos has hit back at his public perception, claiming he is often “misjudged”.
The Spaniard holds the record for the most yellow cards in the Champions League (40) and is often accused of partaking in the dark arts in search of victory.
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- Jurgen Klopp accused Ramos of acting like a “wrestler” after injuring Mohamed Salah in the 2018 UCL final.
- Ramos has received more red cards (24) than any other La Liga player.
- The Spaniard is also the Champions League’s most booked player of all-time.
- But Ramos insists he is too often “misjudged”.
- The 33-year-old says he always shows “respect” to his opponent despite his desire to win.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been one such critic, accusing Ramos of acting like a “wrestler” after he injured Mohamed Salah in their 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, also eluding to his previous misgivings.
“I’m not sure it is an experience we will have again – go there and put an elbow to the goalkeeper, put their goalscorer down like a wrestler in midfield and then you win the game,” Klopp said last year.
“That was the story of the game. Ramos said a lot of things afterwards that I didn’t like. As a person, I didn’t like the reactions of him. He was like: ‘Whatever, what do they want? It’s normal.’ No, it is not normal.
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“If you put all of the situations of Ramos together then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos.”
But Ramos – who drew level with Iker Casillas as Spain’s most capped player of all time on Sunday – feels he is being judged harshly, insisting he treats every opponent with the utmost respect, despite having a desire to win.
“I respect everybody’s opinion and it is true that sometimes people misjudge me,” he told the Daily Express.
“When I play against a tough rival is the most thrilling thing that can happen to me and something that I look forward to.
“When you have to go against a nice forward player or striker you have this nice duel and of course inside the right context where you don’t want to harm anyone, and with the right intention and the right heart.
“It is a game, you go to win and try to defend yourself but always inside you have respect.”