Sergio Ramos gives penalty to Alvaro Morata during Spain 3-0 Sweden

Spain v Sweden - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Sergio Ramos is one of football’s Marmite figures: you either love him or you hate him.

The Real Madrid and Spain defender is a player loved by the fans of the teams he represents but hated by most others.

However, there’s no denying the following: he’s a true winner and a world-class centre-back.

Ramos has won the lot during his illustrious career including four La Liga titles and the same number of Champions Leagues.

He’s also won the European Championships (twice) with Spain, as well as the World Cup.

Ramos is also on course to become Spain’s most-capped player, ahead of the legendary Iker Casillas.

He made his 165th international appearance for La Roja against Sweden on Monday night. Casillas’ record of 167 caps is likely to be smashed by his former Madrid teammate.

Ramos scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in the 3-0 victory at the Bernabeu in Madrid.

Incredibly, that’s his seventh goal in his last eight appearances for his country.

It’s also his 20th international goal - more than the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro have scored for Spain - and his 18th for club and country this season. Eighteenth!

Ramos had the chance to add to his impressive stats in the 85th minute when Spain were awarded a second penalty.

However, the 33-year-old decided to hand the penalty to a rather surprised Alvaro Morata, who immediately looked to thank his captain after successfully converting the spot-kick.

So, why did Ramos hand the penalty to Morata?

There are several potential explanations.

It’s possible that he simply wanted to boost Morata’s confidence by handing him the chance to score only his second international goal since November 2017.

Spain v Sweden - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

But we shouldn’t discount the possibility that Ramos felt sorry for Morata after the Atletico Madrid striker’s house was robbed last Friday.

A group of armed thieves entered Morata’s home while he was representing Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier against the Faroe Islands. His wife and two children were present at the time but, thankfully, emerged physically unscathed.

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The incident must have emotionally affected Morata and his family badly and Ramos may have taken this into consideration when Spain were awarded their second penalty against Sweden.

Either way it was excellent leadership from Ramos, who remains one of football’s best captains.

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