Sergio Ramos may have won the Champions League twice, three La Liga titles, the World Cup and two European Championships but once again the defender is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. On Sunday night, the 31-year-old was sent off for the 22nd time in his Real Madrid career for a lunge on Lionel Messi. It ended a run of a full calendar year without a red card for the combustible character. Delve into Ramos’s back catalogue here:
1) Espanyol 1-0 Real Madrid, La Liga, 18 September 2005
Two yellow cards in the 61st and 87th minutes was an appropriate beginning to Ramos’s red card journey when he was sent off at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona. It began a habit of obtaining double yellows rather than straight reds and his consequent suspension paved the way for a notable debut: step forward Jonathan Woodgate.
2) Real Madrid 2-1 Olympiakos, Champions League, 29 September 2005
Just 10 days later, Ramos received the second red of his Madrid career when he was dismissed for a clash with the Olympiakos substitute Giannakis Okkas, reacting angrily to a late challenge by the Cypriot in the 91st minute. The sending-off came only minutes after a young Roberto Soldado had spared Madrid’s blushes with a late winner.
3) Real Sociedad 2-2 Real Madrid, La Liga, 27 November 2005
Madrid needed two goals within the last five minutes to salvage a draw at the Anoeta after Ramos had earlier been sent off in a game where both sides were reduced to 10 men.
4) Real Madrid 3-3 Villarreal, La Liga, 7 May 2006
Zinedine Zidane’s final game was marred by a straight red card for Ramos after a handball in his own box. Diego Forlán duly converted the penalty before Julio Baptista scored a late equaliser for Madrid.
5) Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid, La Liga, 1 October 2006
Ramos was sent off for the first time in a Madrid derby as two customary fouls earned him his two customary bookings. It seemed the experience of his fellow defenders Roberto Carlos and Fabio Cannavaro was having little impact on the young Spaniard.
6) Sevilla 2-0 Real Madrid, La Liga, 3 November 2007
Two silly tackles resulted in two yellow cards for Ramos five minutes either side of half-time. The loss relegated Madrid to third in the table, with Sevilla overtaking them.
7) Recreativo 2-3 Real Madrid, La Liga, 1 March 2008
In a hugely ill-tempered match that saw three red cards, Ramos was sent off in the 55th-minute after an elbow on the former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle. He had been booked following a rash double-footed challenge just five minutes earlier.
8) Mallorca 1-1 Real Madrid, La Liga, 5 April 2008
The Spaniard earned his second red card in little over two months as he was booked twice once again before receiving his marching orders. A 46th-minute handball was followed 20 minutes later by a deliberate trip. Despite dropping two points, Madrid remained top and would go on to win La Liga that season.
9) Real Madrid 4-3 Málaga, La Liga, 9 November 2008
Ramos received a straight red for a blatant step on the chest of Eliseu while the Portuguese defender was on the ground.
10) Atlético Madrid 2-3 Real Madrid, La Liga, 7 November 2009
The Spaniard was sent off for the second time in the Madrid derby, this time earning an instant dismissal following a last-man challenge on Sergio Agüero.
11) Ajax 0-4 Real Madrid, Champions League, 23 November 2010
After receiving a booking for throwing the ball away in the first half, he was shown a second yellow for the same time-wasting tactics in second-half injury-time. With the group won, sceptics believed Ramos’ dismissal to have been deliberately earned, in order that he could serve a suspension in the dead-rubber final group game.
Image: Ramos is sent off during Real Madrid’s Champions League tie with Galatasaray in November 2013. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters
12) Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid, La Liga, 29 November 2010
A scything tackle on David Villa was met with a yellow card 20 minutes from time before Ramos then hacked down Lionel Messi in injury time. Additional handbags with Carles Puyol and Xavi ensured his first red card in el clásico.
13) Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid, Copa del Rey, 25 January 2012
An initial yellow card for protesting a free-kick was followed by another for an elbow on his international team-mate Sergio Busquets. Ramos had earlier had a headed goal disallowed for a foul in the build-up on the night Madrid crashed out of the Copa at the semi-final stage.
14) Villarreal 1-1 Real Madrid, La Liga, 21 March 2012
On Ramos’s 300th appearance for Madrid, he set a new record for the club as his two yellow cards meant he had been sent off in La Liga more times than any other Madrid player in history. He received his marching orders following an elbow on Nilmar, on a night the manager José Mourinho and Mesut Özil also saw red for Madrid.
15) Real Madrid 4-0 Celta Vigo, Copa del Rey, 2 January 2013
After gaining an unneeded booking during a mild altercation with the Celta players, Ramos secured a very deserved second yellow for a challenge which possibly warranted a straight red. As they grappled for the ball, Ramos kicked out as Augusto Fernández, catching him in the chest.
16) Real Madrid 2-0 Rayo Vallecano, La Liga, 17 February 2013
Ramos received two yellow cards, was sent off and scored inside the opening 20 minutes. After doubling Madrid’s lead in the 12th minute, he was booked twice in a 42-second period five minutes later. First he tugged the shirt of Robert Trashorras before committing a deliberate handball.
17) Real Madrid 4-1 Galatasaray, Champions League, 27 November 2013
The Spaniard earned a 26th-minute straight red as the last line of defence following a foul on Umut Bulut. His dismissal meant Ramos has now averaged a red card every 20 games for Madrid.
18) Osasuna 2-2 Real Madrid, La Liga, 14 December 2013
The first of Ramos’ two yellows, shown for a dissent after he was harshly adjudged to have fouled Álvaro Cejudo, could be considered unlucky. He could arguably have been shown a straight red card though for his second offence: a forearm swing at the face of his marker. Madrid were 2-0 down at the time of his dismissal but managed to equalise thanks to a late goal from Pepe.
Image: Ramos is dismissed in the clásico after a foul on Neymar. Barcelona also won a penalty that swung the game in their favour. Photograph: Reuters
19) Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona, La Liga, 23 March 2014
There was not a great deal of contact between Ramos and Neymar after the Barcelona forward cut across the Madrid defender in the 64th minute but the slight clip of the heels had catastrophic results. Neymar tumbled to the floor in the penalty box, Ramos was sent off despite his typically furious remonstrations and Lionel Messi stepped up to draw Barcelona level. Twenty minutes later the Argentinian repeated the trick from the spot to complete his hat-trick and blow the La Liga title race wide open.
20) Las Palmas 1-2 Real Madrid, La Liga, 13 March 2016
After surviving the 2014-15 season without a red card, an apparently reformed Ramos was on his way to making it two seasons in a row before a stoppage-time yellow in Gran Canaria ended that run. Having picked up a yellow card in the first half the Real Madrid captain then crunched through the back of his Las Palmas counterpart, Momo, in the dying moments to seal his 20th career red card.
His first return to action after suspension following the red card at Las Palmas came in El Clásico. After picking up an early booking, Ramos spent the rest of the match apparently chasing another, though it took until the 84th minute for Alejandro Hernández to finally reach to his pocket and show the second yellow, when Ramos needlessly slid through the back of Luis Suárez. Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winner won Real the points nonetheless and reignited the title race, ending Barcelona’s 39-game unbeaten streak in the process.
22) Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona, La Liga, 23 April 2017
Having managed to go a full calendar year without seeing red and with his side trailing 2-1 in a clásico that could help decide the league title, Ramos’s nostrils flared as Lionel Messi picked up the ball towards the touchline. A wild lunge, fortunately, didn’t fully connect with the Barcelona forward – had it done so he could have been seriously injured – but it still sent him tumbling into the air before thudding into the Bernabéu turf. The referee Alejandro Hernández had no hesitation in directing Ramos towards an early bath. Ten-man Real equalised through James Rodriguez but could not hold on. Messi’s sumptuous injury-time goal sealed a 3-2 win for Barça.
23) Deportivo 0-3 Real Madrid, La Liga, 20 August 2017
Ramos earned a booking after an angry confrontation with Dépor’s Fabian Schär, who was also cautioned. The centre-back raised his hands to the Swiss defender’s face after 53 minutes, and was fortunate not to receive a straight red. With the game won, Ramos picked up a second yellow card in stoppage time after using his elbow in an aerial challenge with Deportivo’s Borja Valle.
24) Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid, La Liga, 2 December 2017
After missing three matches with a broken nose, Ramos returned to the Real Madrid line-up against Athletic Bilbao wearing a face mask – and was promptly sent off for two separate incidents where he raised an arm to an opponent. Booked in the 11th minute for landing a forearm on Raul García, he followed it up by catching Artiz Aduriz with his arm three minutes from time. Ramos is now La Liga’s all-time record holder for red cards after picking up his 19th league dismissal.
25) Real Madrid 1-2 Girona, La Liga, 17 February, 2019
Having remarkably gone a while calendar year without seeing red between 2017 and 2018, the Spain defender was back on form in February 2018. With Real Madrid losing at home to Girona, and in a desperate attempt to force an equaliser, Ramos found himself in the opposition’s box and attempting to score with an overhead kick. However, having already been booked for a handball from which Girona scored a penalty, the defender was given his second yellow for a high foot in the dying minutes of the game.
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