In the eye of the hurricane for an abnormal anti-doping control, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was wrecked on Saturday in the league with his club, but the duel against Roma in ‘Champions’ should allow him to show his extraordinary strength of character.
The shadow of the crisis, which seemed to have receded with the arrival of Santiago Solari to the bench, may return to hover over the team ‘merengue’ after the revelations published on Friday on Ramos, which followed the defeat 3-0 on Saturday against the modest Eibar. “If you do not equal the intensity of the opponent you become a vulgar team,” said Ramos in the mixed zone, himself the author of a terrible performance. Something not very encouraging before the game in the field of Rome, with the leadership of Group G at stake.
But, undoubtedly disturbed by the information that concerns him, the white captain counterattacked. “When you are the possessor of the truth you can act with total normality and the lie, no matter how much is told, is still a lie,” he said, announcing possible legal actions against “these people who try to tarnish my image and my professional career”.
According to Football Leaks documents, the Real Madrid captain passed an anti-doping check that revealed he had taken a corticoid on the night of the 2017 Champions League victory, although UEFA considered it to have been an authorized intake.
The firmness in his reaction is a mark of the character of the Andalusian. “Ignorance is very daring”, said Antoine Griezmann, who pointed openly at the Golden Ball and claimed to be already “at the table” of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. “Respect is won, it is not imposed”, he had warned more recently when the Italian Antonio Conte seemed the best positioned to replace Lopetegui on the bench.
Combative against the microphones, Ramos is even more on the pitch, where with 19 red cards in the league, holds the record of players still active. Messi was one of the victims of the white power station in 2010 and 2017. In both cases, Ramos was expelled.
And Mohamed Salah’s shoulder injury is still fresh after a Ramos entry in the final of the Champions League last that Liverpool lost to Real Madrid. “Nobody has a broken nose more times than Ramos,” his coach, Santiago Solari, said this month, adding that “there is no bad intention, this is a contact sport.”
Considered one of the best centers in the world, Ramos is for more than ten years a pillar of Real Madrid, with which he has won four Leagues and four ‘Champions’. But, since the beginning of the season, the concern for a drop in performance both in the team and in the selection begins to appear little by little.
The errors in his association with Raphael Varane, whose performance also raises doubts, begin to be a problem, which took advantage of Sevilla (3-0) and Barcelona (5-1). With the ‘Red’, England (3-2) and Croatia (3-2) also took advantage of the regular moment of Ramos.
But it is also true that the 32-year-old has sometimes not started the season in the best way, and then performs irreproachably at the time of the trophies. With a new coach, in the final stages of the group stage of the Champions League and a disadvantage of six points to revert in the league, Real Madrid needs its captain to recover his best form as soon as possible.