Veteran Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that Sergio Ramos knew exactly what he was doing when he famously injured Mohamed Salah in the final of the 2018 UEFA Champions League.
The Real Madrid defender and Liverpool forward grappled early in the UCL final that year and the Egyptian came off the worse, suffering a shoulder injury which put him out of the remainder of the game and very nearly saw him miss the World Cup in Russia.
Ramos has always denied that he intentionally injured Salah, but Chiellini – a master of the ‘dark arts’ of defending – wrote in his autobiography that the Spaniard’s action were very much deliberate and targeted.
“Critics can say that he [Ramos] is impulsive, not tactical at all and that because of him there are eight or 10 extra goals conceded a season. If I caused an extra two or three goals, I wouldn’t live any more,” he wrote, as quoted by King Fut.
“He is very technical and could be a striker, we are opposites. However, he has two characteristics almost no-one has.
“The first is knowing how to be decisive in important games. He makes interventions beyond any logic, even with injuries that he causes with almost diabolical cunning.
“Salah’s was a masterstroke. He always said that he didn’t mean to injury him, but he was aware that falling that way and without letting go of his grip, nine times out of 10 you can break your rival’s arm,” he added.
While Real Madrid won that UCL final, Salah went on to lead Liverpool to European triumph a year later with victory over Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.