Last night’s Champions League Group Game between Real Madrid and Ajax ended in farce, as two Madrid players were sent off in the game’s dying embers for time-wasting, despite leading 4-0. Xabi Alonso took seemingly forever to take a free kick, pointlessly stepping up and then back from the ball. Minutes later, the Ajax crowd found out that Sergio Ramos is apparently unable to play without his socks being very specifically adjusted. Both players received their marching orders and as a result, will miss Real Madrid’s next Group Game against French side Auxerre. However, this match is essentially meaningless, as Real Madrid have already qualified for the tournament’s Knockout Stages.
A more significant consequence is that the disciplinary records of both Alonso and Ramos are wiped clean for the next stage, leading many to believe they got sent off under orders from their mercurial manager, Jose Mourinho. The pictures above seem to support this theory, as minutes before Ramos is sent off; he clearly receives a message from Mourinho via Jerzy Dudek (backup goalkeeper) and Iker Casillas (Spanish heartthrob). Of course Mourinho blames it on the referee’s ‘strange decisions’, but I think it’s quite clear what happened. Neither player lifted a finger in protest and Sergio Ramos even shook referee Craig Thompson’s hand on his way off the pitch. This disgraceful behavior represents what is wrong with the sport and unfortunately; the ensuing UEFA investigation will most likely draw no significant conclusions.
Make up your own mind. Highlights and the incidents in question can be viewed here: http://www.footytube.com/video/ajax-real-madrid-nov23-65485