Spain international and Real Madrid center-back Sergio Ramos has said it was Salah who initially held on to him during the memorable Champions League final on May 26 in the Ukrainian capital Kiev that saw Real Madrid claim its third consecutive title.
The 32-year-old told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that the incident had taken a life of its own, insisting that he was simply responding to the Egyptian playmaker’s challenge.
“Bloody hell, they have given this Salah thing a lot of attention. I didn’t want to speak because everything is magnified,” Ramos said.
“I remember the play well: he grabs my arm first and I fell to the other side, the injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold. After that the goalkeeper said I dazed him with a clash.”
Liverpool had dominated much of the first half during the game that ended in favour of the Spaniards who won three to one, sealing their thirtheenth ever Champions League title.
Things were looking shaky for the Spanish side with Liverpool dominating the game throughout much of the first 30 minutes.
|Mohamed Salah of Liverpool reacts after a tackle during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, 26 May 2018 [Georgi Licovski/EPA-EFE]|
Salah’s injury and exit took a hard toll on the Reds who subsequently conceded three goals, including a spectacular mid-air scissor kick by Wales international Gareth Bale.
“I spoke to Salah through messages, he was quite good. He could have played on if he got an injection for the second-half, I have done it sometimes but when Ramos does something like this, it sticks a little bit more,” The Spain international, who is preparing to play in his fourth World Cup finals, said.
“I don’t know if it is because you are at Madrid for so long and win for so long that people at it a different way.”
Salah who it was initially feared would miss out on this year’s World Cup tournament, set to take place in Russia, is largely believed to have recuperated from the shoulder injury and will be part of the Egypt’s squad.