Of a truth, star players are always major targets of any team in major tourneys and to this end, there seems to be absolutely nothing bad in what Real Madrid’s captain, Sergio Ramos did yesterday against dreaded Striker, Mohammed Salah.
Technically speaking, It was a mere tactical decision and experience showing forth when it was needed the most, as you’ve got to silence the main man of your opponent when playing in a major game of that magnitude, without any supposed clandestine motives.
In short, it was done so professionally that it didn’t even attract a yellow card nor any sort of objection nor serious protest by any Liverpool player on the pitch yesterday when the unfortunate incident had occurred on Sallah.
Casting our minds quickly back to Euro 2016, specifically the Finals played between hosts France vs Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, the major hatchet man for the Portuguese team was injured and forced out in the early minutes and thesame fate befell Dimitri Payet of Marseille during the recent Europa league 2018 final where his team lost to another Spanish side, Athletico Madrid on the night. The rest is now history as they say.
In thesame vein, a similar incident can also be said of our very own Ogenyi Onazi who got badly injured by same Dmitry Payet in the last world cup 2014 hosted by Brazil where France defeated Nigeria by 2-1 to book a place into the Quarter finals. That singular act proved a major difference in the game, especially in the midfield area where Onazi isn’t an easy push over anytime any day holding it firmly alongside Captain John Obi Mikel for the eagles. It was indeed a painful sight for every Nigerian football lover. Yet the player got only a yellow card.
Therefore, let’s stop the blames on Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos for being smart enough as an experienced and reliable defender to figure out the opponent’s main man and stop him from causing more harm to his team on the night, and by extension, posing a great threat to their 13th European title ambitions.
Instead, the axe should fall on Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp who obviously Lacks the technical depth to provide answers to the several questions put forward by coach Zinedine Zidane – led Real Madrid squad yesterday by not having a “Plan B” but over-relying on just one man – Mo Sallah which was definitely a very bad decision on his side at that time I had thought.
Once again, congratulations to Real Madrid for proving their dominance at the European stage vis-a-vis Cristiano Ronaldo for equaling Italian Paolo Maldini’s record by bagging his 5th UCL title in modern football era and golden boot highest goal scorer award for the second season in a row, thus making him a very strong contender for the 2018 Ballon D’or award ahead of arch-rival, Lionel Messi.
However, will Real be able to successfully defend their trophy again next season for a fourth consecutive season? Guess only time would tell.
This has been Yours In Sports Commentary,
© Oluwajomiloju John Izabi,
An Unrepentant Writer popularly known as #THE_SALIENT_PEN_PUSHER
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