Rivals

Sergio Ramos vs Mohamed Salah: Remembering an infamous Champions League final clash

Krishan Davis
Ramos' challenge on Salah lives in infamy for Liverpool fans
Ramos' challenge on Salah lives in infamy for Liverpool fans / 90min
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Accidental or intentional? Malicious or innocuous? Pre-empted or coincidental?

Those are the eternal questions when it comes to Sergio Ramos' infamous, game-changing challenge on Mohamed Salah in the 2018 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool.

At the time, Salah was in the form of his life following an outrageous goalscoring season both in Europe and domestically - his best to date. He had netted ten times en route to the final, which came 13 days after the conclusion of a Premier League campaign where he had struck 32 times.

Needless to say, before kick-off under the lights in Kyiv, all eyes were on the Egyptian and (of course) Cristiano Ronaldo - who had bizarrely matched his adversary's 44-goal haul for the season to that point.

However, with the scores at 0-0, Salah's evening would be painfully curtailed at the hands of notorious sh**thouse Ramos with just half an hour on the clock.

Tangling with the Liverpool winger midway inside the Real half after winning the ball, Ramos appeared to trip his opponent with his dangling leg and haul him to the ground via his arm. Salah was left in visible distress on the turf and was ultimately forced off after receiving treatment - stripping Jurgen Klopp's side of its most potent attacking threat on club football's biggest stage with an hour left to play.

The Reds' talisman left the field and headed down the tunnel in tears, and it was later announced that he had dislocated his shoulder with the 2018 World Cup just weeks away.

Los Blancos would go on to win the match 3-1, securing a third consecutive Champions League title courtesy of two truly horrible errors from goalkeeper Loris Karius (you can read about what he's up to here), and an astonishing overhead kick from Gareth Bale.

It was a case of what could have been for Liverpool, and questions were raised in the aftermath about Ramos' intent with his challenge; Accidental or intentional? Malicious or innocuous? Pre-empted or coincidental?

Only one man knew/knows the answer to these questions, and he made some attempt to answer them nine days later...

"Bloody hell, they've given this a lot of attention, the Salah thing," he told AS. "I didn't want to speak because everything is magnified.

"I see 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 the goalkeeper said that I dazed him with a clash with me I am only missing [Roberto] Firmino saying that he got a cold because a drop of my sweat."

Glad that was settled, then.

Four years later it seems Salah is out for vengeance, despite Ramos moving to pastures new last summer when he joined Paris Saint-Germain.

“I think it is revenge time,” he said in a recent interview.

Get the popcorn ready.


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