In Brief

Sergio Ramos hits back: Mohamed Salah ‘grabbed my arm first’

Spaniard has his say on Liverpool’s Karius and Firmino after Real Madrid’s Champions League final victory

Sergio Ramos has hit back at his critics (metaphorically, fortunately) as he continues to take flak from fans following Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month.

The Real captain is Public Enemy No.1 on Merseyside and in Egypt after his tussle with Mohamed Salah in the first-half of the final led to the Liverpool star’s exit due to a shoulder injury.

Furthermore, Ramos is now being accused of concussing Loris Karius in a second-half clash, a collision that apparently was behind the Liverpool goalkeeper’s two subsequent blunders that cost his side victory.

Asked how he felt at being portrayed as the pantomime villain, Ramos told the Spanish newspaper 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 moment 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. Now the goalkeeper has said I concussed him in a clash.”

Proving that he hasn’t lost his sense of humour despite all the abuse, Ramos joked: “I am only missing Roberto Firmino saying he got a cold because a drop of my sweat landed on him!”

As well as the online vitriol aimed at Ramos in the wake of the clash, an Egyptian lawyer called Bassem Wahba has launched a €1bn (£873m) lawsuit against Ramos for the emotional pain he has inflicted on the country.

In Syria, meanwhile, the BBC reports that the tackle on Salah has been incorporated into a legal exam for first-year students at the University of Damascus. 

“Naturally, Ramos cannot be held to account for this action from a criminal law perspective due to four conditions that make the use of violence justified in sports,” runs the exam paper. “State these conditions.”

Not surprisingly this has left the Spanish defender feeling somewhat bemused.

“I don’t know if it is because you are at Madrid for so long and win for so long that people look at it a different way,” he told AS. “I spoke with Salah through messages, and he was quite good. 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.”

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