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Sevilla's Sergio Ramos, front, argues with Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Sevilla and Real Madrid, at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

We’re delighted to announce that Ramos & Rudiger have lost their f*cking heads again

Just as the temperature in Seville had finally cooled after another sweltering summer, the arrival of Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan saw that thermostat creep upwards once more.

Madrid’s fixtures in Andalucia’s biggest city are always box-office viewing, as the most-hated team in Spain run the gauntlet against both Sevilla and Real Betis.

Victories are invariably hard-won. Losses are accompanied by bruised limbs and egos that resemble a banana left in a backpack for over a week.

Between 2005 and 2021, no player in Madrid colours relished these occasions quite like Sergio Ramos. A native of the city, Ramos returned home like an all-conquering monarch only to find the locals were baying for his blood.

In other words, meat and drink for football’s premier sh*thouse. Ramos simply rolled up his sleeves, threw himself into tackles and set about sledging his opponents like Shane Warne at a comedy roast.

In particular, Ramos’ provocative celebration of his Panenka penalty at the Pizjuan in 2017 was regarded by many supporters of his former club as a betrayal. His return to Sevilla wasn’t met with unanimous popularity.

But the World Cup-winning defender tucked into Madrid like an I’m a Celebrity contestant demolishing a bucket of chicken after leaving the jungle.

Jude Bellingham received the first blow, leaving his face naively unguarded and being rewarded with an introduction to Ramos’ elbow. Despite clutching his face and rolling on the floor in a simply un-English fashion, the referee was unmoved. He’ll learn.

The 37-year-old had been the hero just seconds previously, making a dramatic goalline clearance to keep Sevilla the level. He received the acclaim of the crowd like a true matador.

But the true flashpoint came during a clash with an equally weird centre-back, Antonio Rudiger.

After Bellingham had been sent tumbling towards the Med, Rudiger came over for a frank exchange of views with his team-mate’s aggressor. Naturally, Ramos grabbed his cheeks and remarked that the young Antonio had clearly been eating his greens.

In the face of such emasculating behaviour, most of us would turn bright red and scuttle away to the darkest corner we could find. Naturally, Rudiger laughed in his opponent’s face.

Team-mates from both sides intervened to prevent the beginning of World War Three, although they failed to prevent Rudiger and Ramos from swapping digits and agreeing a date for some candlelit tapas.

What about the result? You’ll note we haven’t mentioned the result.

Well, David Alaba scored an own goal to put Sevilla ahead in the 74th but Dani Carvajal equalized with a header four minutes later. But this game was all about Ramos.

Indeed, the veteran defender had two late chances to win the game for Sevilla and create a fairytale for the ages. Alas, this Big Bad Wolf was unable to convert from a couple of corners.

Ramos’ magnetic personality and unshakeable self-belief make him a natural leader and a very forceful character inside any dressing room, which is why last season’s Europa League winners were so keen to resign him.

Considering his peerless ability to attract incident and controversy wherever he goes, Ramos’ latest antics are the least we expect. And demand.

By Michael Lee


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