Sergio Ramos didn't exactly cover himself in glory during Real Madrid's latest slip up in the La Liga title race.
Although the annual trip to the Basque Country is never an easy challenge, Los Blancos were left wanting yet again in a bland 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
And the actions of their captain summed things up. Ramos was sent packing after warranting a second yellow card in the 86th minute for elbowing Aritz Aduriz.
It also gave the 31-year-old the rather unwanted record of the most career red cards in La Liga history with his tally of 19 seeing him usurp Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado.
Nevertheless, Zinedine Zidane stood by his captain and hinted at an appeal by stating: "Ramos is not happy as he thinks he didn't make contract, that it was not a yellow."
That being said, reprieve for the Spaniard looks unlikely and Real will have to seek sanctuary in the fact Barcelona also dropped points against Celta Vigo. The gap remains a yawning eight points, however.
Ramos will likely miss the visit of Sevilla to the Bernabeu next week and Los Blancos will certainly miss his presence in the back line.
It just seems that this week, his in-game physicality went a little too far and, frequent fouls aside, one of his actions at the other end of the pitch sought to prove it.
Having broken his nose during the Madrid derby two weeks ago, Ramos had to sport a protective mask at San Mamés Stadium. Not for the entire 90 minutes, though.
Real Madrid fans were left astonished when Ramos took it upon himself to remove his mask as he attempted to break the deadlock from a corner.
The 31-year-old clearly felt the mask would impede his heading ability and was willing to risk his recovering nose for the sake of a winning goal. Check it out below:
If there was any doubt over Ramos' commitment to Real Madrid, it can end here.
Sadly for Ramos, though, Toni Kroos broke character and delivered a truly awful corner that was cleared away by the Bilbao defence. Cameras captured him putting his mask back on as Los Blancos plotted a second attack.
Take a look at the Twitter reaction below:
And with the Spaniard's tendency to pop up with important goals, you can't exactly blame him for fancying his chances.
This is a man who's scored in two Champions League finals and he wasn't going to let a mask stop him getting goal number 70 for Real. Maybe next time, Sergio.
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