Watch: Sergio Ramos play-acting fools referee to escape certain red card

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Sergio Ramos has always split opinion amongst football fans. There's no doubt he is a top quality defender and he has the CV to prove it. However, at times, the Spanish international's antics on the field can be frustrating.

One of Ramos' biggest drawbacks is the number of red cards he has received in his career. To date, the 30-year-old has been given his marching orders a phenomenal 21 times.

And it could have been number 22 in today's Real Madrid vs Espanyol contest as, after already picking up a booking, Ramos appeared to handle the ball just outside his own box. However, thanks to some quick thinking and Oscar-worthy play acting seen below, the Los Blancos star was able to avoid any punishment.

Ramos, who had picked up his first yellow card inside the first 120 seconds after a tough challenge on Espanyol's Baptistao, looked to be in trouble when his hand clearly blocked a Hernán Pérez shot that was heading for Madrid's goal.

Although the shot was coming at some pace, Ramos' hand was up by his head and he couldn't have had too many complaints had the referee reached for his pocket.

Cue the defender's quick thinking (or dastardly tactic, depending on your perspective)...

It wasn't quite Steven Taylor grabbing his chest after handling on the goal-line for Newcastle a few years ago, but, unlike his fellow centre-back, his play-acting actually worked this time as the official was completely fooled.

Several people on Twitter weren't so easily convinced, however...

Having shown off his acting chops in the first half, Ramos was able to continue and help Madrid secure a 2-0 away win.

Goals from James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema ensure Los Blancos made it four wins from four in La Liga this season.

Obviously, had they lost Ramos and been forced to play with 10 men for over an hour on the road, that result would have been a lot harder to come by.

A fact that will not have escaped the attention of fans of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and co. as they attempt to catch Madrid at the top of the league.

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