Sergio Ramos speaks out after being accused of deliberate booking vs Ajax

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

When Sergio Ramos tried to play the system by picking up a yellow card against Ajax, he wasn't exactly subtle. 

The centre-back was booked for a late challenge on Kasper Dolberg in Real Madrid's 2-1 victory in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie. 

The Spanish international was on a yellow ahead of kick-off, which means he'll now sit out the second leg at the Bernabeu and will be given a clean slate for the quarter-finals, should the champions progress.

It's an age-old tactic but one which is rightly against the rules. UEFA have opened an investigation into Ramos' conduct and he could be hit with a two-game ban. 

Usually, it's very difficult to prove that a player has got themselves booked on purpose.

However, luckily for UEFA's disciplinary panel, Ramos has made their job relatively easy by admitting as much in the mixed zone. 

"Looking at the result, I'd be lying if I said I didn't force it," he initially told reporters.

"It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over. But in football you have to make tough decisions."

The 32-year-old was also seen communicating with the bench prior to making the tackle. All in all, it seems he hasn't got a leg to stand on. 

On Friday, he made one last attempt to clarify his comments. In doing so, Ramos must be hoping to avoid a sanction, but it could well be too late.

Ramos has spoken out again 

He told Marca: 

"I'm very surprised by all of this. I meant to force the foul, a foul that was inevitable; not to force the suspension.

When asked if he was aware he risked getting booked by making the challenge, he added: 

"Yes, but I had no choice. It was a very dangerous counter-attack in the 88th minute with the match wide open and the tie as well.

"That's why I said that I'd be lying if I said that I didn't know that I would be suspended, just as I knew that I had no choice but to make the foul. And that's what I meant when I said that in football you have to make difficult decisions.

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"If I wanted to force a suspension, I could have done it in the group stage - in the game against Roma, because we were already qualified in first place, and in the last game against CSKA [Moscow] as it was inconsequential. By the way, a match for which I was not called up."

Are UEFA going to believe that? Perhaps, but it seems unlikely. 

In the aftermath of his controversial interview, Ramos also tweeted to reiterate that he hadn't forced the ban on purpose. 

Either way, Ajax will be all the more confident of reaching the last eight with Ramos ruled out of the second leg. 

Should Ramos receive a longer ban? Have your say in the comments. 

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