Real Madrid defender, Sergio Ramos was left out of manager Jose Mourinho`s starting XI in Los Blancos 3-2 victory over Manchester City in their debut Champions League match.
- By Tom Conn Follow @TomConnISF
Ramos was a surprise scratch from the line-up, as Mourinho made the last minute change due to a “technical decision,” which led many to believe that there may have been a pre-match bust up between Ramos and Mourinho.
The suspiciion was raised to a new level when English newspaper, The Daily Mail, reported that Mourinho had dropped Ramos to the bench after comment made by the Spanish international on Monday, questioned why the Portuguese boss was so critical of the squad following their side`s loss to Sevilla on Saturday evening.
“Now is not the time to comment, because we have a week to re-organise and in the meantime we can’t get down because we have a Champions League match on Tuesday.”
Ramos is one of the most stalwart starters of the group, but was replaced by young Frenchman, Raphael Varvane for Tuesday`s match.
However, Varane admitted that Mourinho had told him on Sunday that he would start over Ramos.
“Mourinho said on Sunday I would play today.
“I’ve been preparing for this match since Sunday.”
While neither Ramos nor Mourinho alluded to any animosity, the former Sevilla defender was not available following the match, but was gracious in supporting his teammates and congratulating them on their come from behind win on Tuesday evening via his official twitter account.
“I congratulate all of my teammates for the great effort and victory in Champions.
“Great ambiance at the Bernabeu, Hala Madrid…!”
While Mourinho maintained in his post-match press conference that the benching of Ramos was purely a tactical decision.
“It was totally a tactical decision, I want to make it clear that there are zero disciplinary problems with Sergio Ramos.”
It remains as to what effect this will have on the morale of the squad, but this is not the first time the Spanish players have reportedly clashed with the Portuguese players and manager, despite Mourinho previously stating that his relationship with the squad has never been better.
The most interesting note of the night happened when the PA announcer, announced Sami Khedira as number ‘4’ rather than the German`s number ‘6’, presumably because he was so accustomed to introducing Ramos immediately following fellow centre-back, Pepe, who wears the number ‘3’ shirt.