DUBAI: Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos is definitely not the darling of the Arab world after bringing down Mo Salah in the Champions League final on Saturday, and dislocating the Egyptian’s shoulder in the process.
But a short segment of video has sparked even more outrage, dashing any hopes he might have had of being forgiven by Salah fans around the world.
The footage captures the moment a tearful Mo Salah is walked off the pitch, clearly in pain – the camera then quickly pans round to Ramos who is watching, smiling and laughing.
It was always going to be a fiercely fought match, Real Madrid the defending champions, Liverpool eager to claim back the trophy it last held in 2005.
Egyptian footballing superstar Salah was running towards Real Madrid’s goal in the 26th minute, the ball about to land in front of him when Ramos came in for the challenge and the two fell to the ground – Salah’s arm apparently pulled by the Spaniard.
Many outraged Arab football fans have taken to social media expressing their view that the move by Ramos was intentional, that he purposefully targeted Salah, while others say it was a fair challenge
The Liverpool striker played on for another four minutes before falling to the ground, before leaving the pitch, while being consoled by Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now – as Egyptians everywhere worry that Salah’s injury, so close to the World Cup tournament, will prevent him from playing at all – the images of a smiling Ramos will leave a bitter taste.
Ramos has since publicly wished Salah a speedy recovery after their harsh encounter during the Champions League final.
Ramos, who was heavily criticized on social media for his part in the incident, took to Twitter to send a message of support to the Egyptian player.
He wrote: “Sometimes football shows you it’s good side and other times the bad.
“Above all, we are fellow pros. Get well soon Mo Salah.”