Real Madrid stalwart Sergio Ramos has backtracked on his concession that he purposely picked up a yellow card against Ajax on Wednesday night.
With his side 2-1 up in the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Champions League, the Spaniard was booked in the final minutes and was accused of deliberately receiving the caution.
That is because he’ll now miss the second leg at the Bernabeu, but will avoid running the risk of missing the first leg of the quarter-finals, should Real Madrid make it through.
As noted by Mundo Deportivo, Ramos conceded after the game that he did look for the booking in order to strategically ensure he was available for the next round if his side progress.
“Yes, the truth is that seeing the result, It’s something I had in mind,” he is quoted as saying. “It is not to underestimate the opponent but sometimes it’s about making decisions. It was the 88th minute and I will miss the next game.”
However, it’s also added in that report that Porto ace Jesus Corona was suspended for an additional game earlier this season for doing the same thing, and so perhaps someone at Real Madrid had a quiet word with Ramos to backtrack on his earlier comments and avoid the risk of being banned for the next two games.
“I want to make clear that it hurts me more than anyone, I have not forced the card, as I did not against Roma in my previous game in theI will support from the stands as a fan,” he wrote in his tweet below.
Quiero dejar claro que me duele más que a nadie, que no he forzado la tarjeta, como tampoco lo hice contra la Roma en mi anterior partido de @ChampionsLeague, y que apoyaré desde la grada como un hincha más con la ilusión de poder estar en cuartos.#HalaMadrid https://t.co/zL0Heok5Vp
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) February 13, 2019
Time will tell if UEFA do opt to take further action after reviewing the incident and what Ramos said after the game, but it certainly wasn’t the most sensible of ideas from the 32-year-old to initially openly admit what he was trying to do.