• Champions League

Sergio Ramos banned for two European games

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Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos will serve a two-match ban by UEFA after purposely receiving a yellow card in their Champions League win at Ajax.

Ramos will henceforth miss the return leg at the Bernabeu and the first leg of the quarter-finals should they progress past Ajax.

The 32-year-old skipper was booked in the 89th minute of Madrid’s 2-1 first leg last-16 victory in Amsterdam for a foul on Kasper Dolberg.

Ramos has since defended his actions in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, as he claimed he gave away the free-kick to prevent an Ajax equaliser.

Speaking immediately after the first leg, Ramos was quoted as saying he “would be lying” if he denied deliberately earning the booking.

“I’m very surprised about all this. I was referring to forcing the foul, a foul that was inevitable. Not to force the booking,” the Spaniard said.

Asked if he knew the foul was likely to lead to a yellow card and a ban, he added: “Yes, but I had no choice.

“It was a very dangerous counter-attack in the 88th minute, with an open match and the tie as well.

“That’s why I said that I would lie if I said I did not know that I was carrying a penalty, just as I knew that I had no other choice than to make a mistake. And that’s what I meant when I said that in football you have to make complicated decisions.”

Ramos added: “If I had wanted to force a penalty, I could have done it in the group stage, in the match against Roma because we were already classified as first of groups and the last game, against CSKA, was inconsequential. By the way, a match in which I did not play.”

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