Sergio Ramos deliberately got himself sent off for Real Madrid against Ajax in 2010

AFC Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid secured an important 2-1 win away to Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout tie on Wednesday night. 

Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio mean that Los Blancos will take a healthy advantage back to the Bernabeu for the second leg and they're now favourites to advance. 

Despite an impressive away performance in the Dutch capital, there was a villain of the piece and once again, it was Sergio Ramos. 

The Madrid captain appeared to get himself deliberately booked just minutes before the final whistle - but why would he do such a thing?

Well, he was one yellow card away from picking up a one-match ban.

So the theory is, rather than playing in a second leg that Real can expect to win without him, Ramos will sit it out and go into the quarter-finals with his disciplinary slate wiped clean.

ADMITTING IT

Of course, it would have been almost impossible to prove that the defender had purposely picked up a yellow card, had he not seemingly admitted it after the game. 

"Looking at the result, I'd be lying if I said I didn't force it," Ramos said of his booking, per Marca.

Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

"It's something I was thinking about." 

Ramos' actions certainly got people talking on social media last night but incredibly, this isn't the first time he's done such a thing in the Champions League. 

MASTER OF THE DARK ARTS

In the group stages of the 2010 tournament against the very same team, in the very same stadium, the centre-back got himself sent off. 

AFC Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

Madrid faced off against Ajax in the penultimate game of their group and under instruction from Jose Mourinho that night, Ramos got himself sent off in the closing stages of the match. 

In doing so, he missed a matchday six meeting with Auxerre, one that was inconsequential as Los Blancos had already booked their place in the knockout rounds. 

That night, his intentions were far clearer. Ramos was booked twice for time-wasting and his red card came after he delayed taking a goal-kick that Iker Casillas would have normally taken. 

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As if that wasn't obvious enough, teammate Xabi Alonso also himself sent off to miss the same group stage match. 

UEFA UNIMPRESSED  

Unsurprisingly, the actions of Ramos, Alonso and Mourinho did not impress UEFA. All three were fined for improper conduct and Mourinho was handed a two-match ban. 

However, both players avoided longer suspensions and they were free to play in the knockout rounds.  

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The plan worked nine years ago, but after basically admitting that he engineered another booking last night, Ramos risks UEFA taking more serious action this time. 

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