Real Madrid defender and Champions League winner Sergio Ramos has responded to Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp’s latest jibes with a few barbs of his own – by digging out his recent record in major finals.
The two have been engaged in a war of words since Real’s 3-1 Champions League final win over the Reds in May, with Klopp taking particular issue with two incidents involving the Spaniard during the game.
His foul on Mohamed Salah – which ended the Egyptian’s involvement in the showcase in Kiev – and apparent elbow on Loris Karius, which caused a concussion, have been Klopp’s particular points of contention. The two moments were key to Real winning the game, and while Ramos has claimed both were accidental, Klopp hasn’t seen it that way.
Over 500,000 Liverpool fans haven’t either, as they actually signed a petition for the match to be replayed, but Klopp has called out Ramos in two separate press conferences in the last couple of weeks.
At the end of July, Klopp said: “If you watch it back and you are not with Real Madrid – then you think it is ruthless and brutal. 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.”
Just last week, he carried on to Sport1: “I don’t want to win by any means. Of course I would have liked to become a Champions League winner, and I would not have returned the title if shown various indiscretions.
“I do not expect that from him, I only expect that he gives more thought to his assessment of certain situations. It may have been a coincidence, but Salah was taken out of the game during an outstanding phase of his footballing life, in the middle of the field.
“Many people will say that these things happen. But if that is the message we are sending to our children, that nothing is out of bounds and it’s all about winning, then I will be glad to leave this planet in 40 years.
“Am I a good loser? No. But during our preparations we had to talk about Ramos because he had influenced the final the previous year with a dive and a red card against Juventus.”
Ramos’ actions in that game helped Real win, and they now embark on a UEFA Super Cup clash with local rivals Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night as a result. And ahead of the game, Ramos has responded, via Marca, by digging out the German for winning only one of seven major finals he’s competed in as a manager.
He said: “I already gave my opinion and I reiterate again, it is not intentional. It’s not the first final he’s lost, [maybe] he wants to use that as an excuse for losing.
“There have been many repercussions after what happened to Salah in the Champions League final. Let Klopp worry about his own players. In fact, he’s one of the coaches I voted for as the Best of the Year, so perhaps he can stay a little calmer.”
Real play Atletico in Talinn on Wednesday night, hoping to win the Super Cup for the third consecutive year.