Giorgio Chiellini has described Sergio Ramos as ‘the master’ after getting away with injuring Mohamed Salah in the 2018 Champions League final.
Liverpool and Real Madrid met in Kiev in what was anticipated to be one of the most exciting Champions League finals in recent memory.
The occasion was soured just after the half-hour mark, however, when Liverpool’s man of the moment had his 44-goal season prematurely ended after sustaining an injury to his shoulder during a tussle with Ramos.
The Spanish veteran appeared to clutch onto Salah’s arm as they fell to the ground, leading to widespread condemnation that Ramos had intentionally attempted to injure the Egyptian.
‘He, Sergio the master, has always said that it was unintentional,’ said Chiellini in his autobiography (via the Metro).
‘But he was aware that falling in the way that he did, without loosening his grip on that hold, nine times out of ten you can break your opponent’s arm.‘
Liverpool went on to lose that final after two errors from suspect goalkeeper Loris Karius, though achieved redemption 12 months later when they lifted their sixth European crown with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham.
Many Liverpool fans retained a certain displeasure for Ramos’ methods following the incident in 2018, but Chiellini believes the Spaniard is an incredibly technically gifted player.
‘You could say he’s impulsive and not very tactically aware, that he is responsible for conceding eight or ten goals a season and if I’m pulled up for two or three I’d be slaughtered.‘
‘He’s a very technical player, more of a striker than a defender, the complete opposite of me.
‘Without him, Madrid turn into a team without a defence. Without him, [Raphael] Varane, Marcelo and [Dani] Carvajal look like kids playing for the reserve team.’