We’re not quite sure how the ‘name a more iconic duo’ meme started, but we’re fairly certain it first captioned a photo of a refereeing brandishing a red card to Sergio Ramos.
After being given his marching orders against Girona at the weekend, Ramos now holds the record for the most red cards in the history of Europe’s top five leagues with 20, while he has been sent off a further five times in other competitions.
We’ve revisited each of those sending offs and picked out the most impressively stupid.
Girona – 2019
We’ll start with the most recent, earned thanks to two silly yellow cards in which context is key.
A resurgent Real Madrid were one goal to the good against the La Liga strugglers, only for Ramos to pick up his first booking after giving away a penalty for handball.
Girona promptly converted the penalty and took the lead in the second half, with Ramos deciding to lead by example and try to find a late equaliser himself.
You can hardly get more Captain Marvel than scoring an overhead kick. Sadly, he fluffed his attempt completely and only succeeded in catching a defender’s face. Adios, Sergio.
🔴 Sergio Ramos and a red card – that can't be too far behind as a duo…
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) February 17, 2019
Ajax – 2010
Time wasting when 4-0 up away from home to deliberately get a second yellow card in order to miss a dead rubber final group stage match then shaking the hand of the referee as you walk off is admittedly pretty funny.
But this is made even funnier by recent events, when Ramos again deliberately picked up a booking against Ajax, publicly admitted afterwards he did so, then backtracked after it was revealed UEFA could now ban him for more than one match.
Barcelona – 2010
The first of five red cards in El Clasico, it’s actually hard to tell which of the Real Madrid trio trying to kick Lionel Messi commits the first foul on first glance, but then Ramos goes and gives himself up by pushing Carles Puyol – hardly the most inconspicuous-looking footballer – to the ground with a shove to his face.
It’s never a good sign when Pepe is looking on with a facial expression which reads ‘oh, mate’, while Ramos even gives Xavi a bit of a nudge to the head of the way off the pitch.
Oh, and it’s probably worth mentioning Barcelona were 5-0 up at this point.
Villarreal – 2012
A landmark night for Ramos, not just for his 300th appearance for Real but also for him breaking the record for most red cards in La Liga history.
We’re not sure what Nilmar did to deserve a kick in the bollocks and elbow to the face all in one, but it must have been pretty bad.
Or maybe there was something in the water that night, as Mesut Ozil and Jose Mourinho were also given their marching orders in a 1-1 draw.
Celta Vigo – 2013
We’re certainly not experts on defending at the highest level, but if you slide in for a tackle and manage to kick someone at the very top of their chest, it doesn’t seem like your technique is right.
Rayo Vallecano – 2013
Within the first 20 minutes of the match, Ramos managed to score and pick up two bookings – less than a minute apart – with the second the kind of thing Steven Taylor would be proud of.
Malaga – 2008
We quite like the way he quickly apologises for stamping on the chest of an opposition player laying on the ground. The game’s gone soft.
Barcelona – 2017
It feels only right that we finish with two from El Clasico clashes.
We quite admire just how stupid this one is – jumping in two-footed on Messi with Real only trailing 2-1 and 13 minutes left to play in a game which would go a long way to deciding the title.
We also admire how he manages to miss the ball and Messi before giving the referee a shove just for good measure.
Barcelona – 2016
Look, we’re not saying Ramos is a bit rash, but he committed himself so early to this challenge Luis Suarez had time for a siesta before being clattered.
Messi nonchalantly strolling onto the scene looking incredibly unsurprised is another lovely touch.