Sergio Ramos could be in hot water in Champions League play.
The Real Madrid defender, known for his fiery play and widespread hateability, is being investigated by UEFA for intentionally earning a yellow card in the dying minutes of Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Dutch club Ajax on Wednesday.
The yellow card, earned in the 89th minute for a trip of Ajax youngster Kasper Dolberg, earns Ramos a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation, having earned three cautions since the start of group stage play. All cards are wiped clean after the quarterfinals match, so Ramos may have intentionally earned a caution with Madrid in a good position heading into the home leg instead of risking a suspension in the following round against a stronger opponent.
Adding to the case against the Spaniard are his comments immediately after the match, where he reportedly told media members, “Looking at the result, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking]. It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over, but in football you have to make tough decisions.” Ramos then backtracked his comments, writing on Twitter to deny that he earned the caution intentionally.
In addition, there is apparently footage of Ramos during the game asking his teammates if he should indeed look to earn a card.
UEFA could up his standard one-match ban to a two-match suspension if they determine he did indeed intentionally look to earn a caution. There is recent precedent for this, having handed down punishment to Ramos’s Real Madrid teammate Dani Carvajal for such a violation in the final minutes of a 6-0 win over APOEL Nicosia during last year’s tournament.