Real Madrid’s very poor Champions League record without Ramos is cause for concern
Sergio Ramos will be unavailable for the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City due to suspension.
The Real Madrid captain received a red card for bringing down Gabriel Jesus in the first leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, a game that Pep Guardiola’s side won 2-1.
No one needs to explain what Ramos means to Los Blancos, even more so in a match like the one at the Etihad Stadium, where he would so often come up with a vital goal or inspire his teammates to glory.
Real Madrid’s recent record without the 34-year-old in the Champions League is cause for concern.
Of the last six matches that Ramos has not played in Europe’s premier competition, Los Merengues have lost five and won just one.
That victory came in a 3-1 result away at Club Brugge in this season’s group stages, but it was a meaningless game as Zinedine Zidane’s side had already progressed to the knockout stages.
This unsettling cycle began in the quarter-finals in 2017/18, when Ramos had to miss the second leg against Juventus after Real Madrid had beaten them 3-0 in Turin.
On paper it should have been comfortable, but Los Blancos went 3-0 down and it was only for a late penalty awarded to Lucas Vazquez that Real Madrid were able to advance without the game going to extra time.
The 2018/19 campaign was a disaster for Ramos and Real Madrid in every way.
Julen Lopetegui opted to travel to face CSKA Moscow in the group stages without his captain, who was given some rest, and the Russians won 1-0.
When CSKA came to Madrid, Santiago Solari was the head coach but he adopted the same method as Lopetegui by resting Ramos, and the result was a 3-0 defeat for Los Merengues at the Bernabeu.
But the worst was yet to come. After beating Ajax 2-1 in Amsterdam in the first leg of their last-16 tie, Ramos decided to force a yellow card in order to miss the second leg but be available for the quarter-finals.
His mistake was that he admitted that he forced the yellow in the mixed zone afterwards, so he was hit with a further one-match ban, meaning he wouldn’t be back until the second leg of a hypothetical quarter-final tie.
The second leg against Ajax ended with the Dutch giants winning 4-1, all while Ramos was watching on from a box and being filmed for an Amazon Prime documentary.
His UEFA ban carried over into this season due to Real Madrid’s elimination, so the mythical No.4 missed the Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.
Without their captain, Zidane’s side lost 3-0 to a PSG side that were without Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Since joining Real Madrid, Ramos has missed 30 Champions League matches due to injury, suspension or the coach’s decision, and Los Blancos’ record in that time is 19 wins, three draws and eight defeats.
The problem is that 62.5 percent of those defeats have come in the last six games without Ramos on the pitch.
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