Will Anyone Buy Real Madrid Skipper Sergio Ramos' Apology Over Deliberate Yellow Card?
There was little sympathy for Real Madrid when Ajax dumped them out of the Champions League last week.
A classic example of a triumph for the underdog, the Dutch team overhauled a 2-1 deficit to win 4-1 on the night and 53 on aggregate.
One person who copped plenty of criticism for Real's failure wasn't even playing. Sergio Ramos, a player who continues to find new ways to antagonize rival players, was suspended for the game having deliberately got himself booked in the closing stages of the first leg which subsequently earned him a ban. Clearly confident Real would finish the job in the second leg, he was happy to take another yellow card.
UEFA ruled Ramos clearly instigated the card and handed him a two-match ban. Ramos, a four-time Champions League winner took to Twitter with a thread of messages which set out to explain his position and also paid reference to a documentary which is currently being made about him. He also stood up for Real's outgoing boss Santiago Solari, who was sacked today and replaced with Zinedine Zidane.
He posted: "Absolutely it was an error. I take the blame 200%.
"As footballers, we like to do our talking on the pitch, but this season is not turning out that way. Recent events have been disastrous and I'm not hiding. We are not hiding. We the players are primarily responsible and I, as captain, more than anyone."
As one of the club's most experienced players, Ramos has frequently been mentioned as an influencer in the Real Madrid dressing room. Tweeting before this evening's decision on Solari, he reacted to suggestions the players were pushing for a change of manager. He said: "It's a decision that's not ours to make and in which we never interfere. These reflections are, without doubt, the result of a deeply disappointing season, but if success didn't stop us, we're not going to let defeat stop us.
"It's our obligation to carry on, to work and to evolve. And to remember that some of us are lucky enough to play for Real Madrid, some of us are lucky enough to form part of its history, but Real Madrid was, is and will always be Real Madrid. "No-one name makes the legend of Real Madrid, but we have all written that legend together."
Recent events have been disastrous and I'm not hiding. We are not hiding. We the players are primarily responsible and I, as captain, more than anyone.