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28th Jul 2018

Jürgen Klopp slams Sergio Ramos’ “ruthless and brutal” display in Champions League final

Tell us what you really think, Jürgen...

Simon Lloyd

Here we go again

You – just like the rest of us – might have mistakenly believed you’d heard the last of all that talk about Sergio Ramos’ display in the Champions League final against Liverpool. You were wrong. We were all wrong.

Ramos had tangled with Mo Salah in the first half of the game in Kiev. As the pair fell to the ground, Salah landed awkwardly beneath the defender, enough for him to pick up a shoulder injury which forced him to withdraw from the game minutes later. Without their star man, Liverpool went on to lose the game 3-1 – two of Real’s goals coming as a result of significant errors by Loris Karius.

In the days that followed, plenty of Liverpool supporters suggested Ramos had deliberately set out to injure the Egyptian. In truth, it got a bit weird. A petition was set up; some former Brookside actor offered Ramos a fight.

Footage also emerged which showed Karius being elbowed by Ramos prior to conceding the first goal of the night, enough for some to jump to conclusions when it was later announced that the goalkeeper had been suffering with concussion during the game.

At the time, Jürgen Klopp said very little on the matter. Now though, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s preseason friendly with Manchester United in the USA, he hasn’t held back.

“We’re opening that bottle again?” he responded when asked about it. “It’s action-reaction-action-reaction and I don’t like that but – if you watch it back and you are not with Real Madrid – then you think it is ruthless and brutal.

“I saw the ref taking charge of big games at the World Cup and nobody really thinks about that later. But in a situation like that somebody needs to judge it better.

“If VAR is coming then it is a situation where you have to look again. Not to give a red card but to look again and say: “What is that?” It was ruthless.”

“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. 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.

“If you put all of the situations of Ramos together then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos. The year before against Juve he was responsible for the red card for [Juan] Cuadrado. Nobody talks about that afterwards.

“It is like we, the world out there, accepts that you use each weapon to win the game. People probably expect that I am the same. I am not.”

Continuing, Klopp explained that his own team are aggressive but, crucially, “legal” in their approach to games. He added that in most situations, a player doing what Ramos did would expect to receive a ban.

“Usually if you try something you will get punished. Someone will see it and ban you for four or five weeks. But in this example, no one. This ref should have had the courage to decide that game.

“In this situation we didn’t get it and, if you write this, people will say I am weak, a bad loser or a whiner. I’m not. I accept it. It’s not like I wake up in the morning and think: ‘Ramos!'”

Something tells us this won’t be the last we hear about this in the days ahead. Over to you, Sergio…