Ramos has no regrets over Salah incident and ‘Karius concussion’

Liverpool train ahead of Real Madrid clash

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As Liverpool prepare to face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield, Mohamed Salah will be relieved to see Sergio Ramos no longer on the opposite side. When the two sides met in the final back in 2018, it was Ramos who brought a tearful end to Salah’s participation after his controversial challenge on the Egyptian star, but there has been no sign of remorse from the veteran defender.

With the score deadlocked at 0-0 in the first half, Salah was forced to bring his night to a premature end after being hauled onto the ground by Ramos, who had entangled his arm with the Liverpool winger’s causing him to injure his shoulder when he hit the turf.

Salah left the pitch in tears, knowing that the injury was severe enough to rule him out of the rest of the game and put his World Cup dream in jeopardy. Ramos was able to continue without a yellow card, much to the furore of Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool bench.

Later in the game, Ramos was involved in another clash – this time with goalkeeper Loris Karius – which reportedly left the German with concussion after catching him with his elbow, with some suggestions that the action was deliberate.

The Spaniard claimed that the incident had been exaggerated and suggested that he was targeted due to his reputation: “I am only missing Roberto Firmino saying he got a cold because a drop of my sweat landed on him,” he told Spanish outlet AS.

“Bloody hell, they have given this Salah thing a lot of attention. I didn’t want to speak because everything is magnified. I remember the play well: he grabs my arm first and I fell to the other side, the injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold. After that, the goalkeeper [Karius] said I dazed him with a clash.”

Both incidents had a major impact on the final, with the Merseyside outfit blunted in attack without Salah and Karius making two costly errors. Madrid eventually strolled to a 3-1 success with Gareth Bale scoring twice, including a memorable overhead kick, and Karim Benzema mopped up from Karius’ error to slot home into an empty net.

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Despite his apparent lack of sympathy, Ramos later revealed he spoke to Salah after texting the Liverpool star before suggesting he could have played on through the pain barrier.

“I spoke with Salah through messages. He was quite good,” he added. “He could have played on if he got an injection for the second half, I have done it sometimes but when Ramos does something like this, it sticks a little bit more.”

Salah has since buried any blood with Ramos and declared the matter “closed”. But the forward admitted that he was mentally affected by the injury and opened up on how he was left crying in the dressing room after coming off.

“When I think about it, it was very, very bad. The final of the Champions League, a big dream for yourself, for the city, for the fans and for everyone. We wanted to win the Champions League,” he said, back in 2019, as quoted by The Mirror.

“And that time, mentally, it was very, very bad. Especially when I got substituted, I went to the dressing room and was just crying because I felt like the Champions League was over and the World Cup was over, so it was very tough for me at that moment.”

Ramos is no longer a part of the Madrid side, having left for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021. But that won’t stop Salah – motivated by the painful memories from five years ago – gunning for revenge on Tuesday night.

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