PRAISE Giorgio Chiellini lauds Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’ ‘masterstroke’ tackle on Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah in 2018 Champions League final
Ramos hauled down the the Egypt ace in the early stages of the showpiece in Kiev, forcing Salah off with a shoulder injury that severely hampered the Reds’ chances of overcoming Zinedine Zidane’s men.
Thanks to two high-profile errors from Loris Karius and a Gareth Bale wonderstrike, Real went on to win the European Cup with a 3-1 victory.
And veteran Juventus defender Chiellini, who believes Ramos is the best centre-back in the world, said the Spaniard purposefully injured Salah to give his side an advantage.
“Critics can say that he is impulsive, not tactical at all and that because of him there are eight or 10 extra goals conceded a season,” the Italy ace wrote in his autobiography, ‘I Giorgio’, as quoted by AS . “If I caused an extra two or three goals, I wouldn’t live anymore.
“He is very technical and could be a striker, we are opposites. However, he has two characteristics almost no-one has.
“The first is knowing how to be decisive in important games. He makes interventions beyond any logic, even with injuries that he causes with almost diabolical cunning.
“Salah’s was a masterstroke. He always said that he didn’t mean to injure him, but he was aware that falling that way and without letting go of his grip, nine times out of 10 you can break your rival’s arm.
“The second is the force he transmits with his presence. Without him, stars like Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal and Marcelo seem like kids from the Primavera team. Without him, Madrid becomes defenceless.”
Chiellini also highlighted Ramos’ absence from Real’s Champions League knockout defeat by Ajax in 2019 as a reason as to why he is so important to Los Blancos.
“After the first match, they gave him a two-game ban because he was honest: he said that in life you have to choose and had looked for a card to wipe his record before the quarter-finals,” he added. “With him at the Bernabeu, they can be sure that they would not have lost by a three-goal margin. I’d bet whatever you want.”