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Uefa bans Madrid's Ramos for two games for deliberate booking
Holding the La Liga record with 25 red and nearly 200 yellow cards, even the most munificent observer would have difficulty arguing that Sergio Ramos doesn't seem hell bent on leaving a match before the 90 minutes are over.
When the Real Madrid skipper got a yellow card towards the end of the first leg of the last 16 Champions League match against Ajax on 13 February, the 32-year-old admitted in his initial post match comments that it wasn't an unwelcome booking with his side leading 2-1.
"The truth is that given the result, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't something I had in mind," Ramos said after the first leg in Amsterdam. "It is not to underestimate the opponent but sometimes there is a time to make decisions and I did so."
His third yellow card during the tournament triggered the automatic one match suspension. The ban would allow him to restart the card counter from the first leg of the quarter-final onwards.
However, Uefa, which runs the Champions League competition, has taken a dim view of such canny game management.
On Thursday night, European football's governing body banned Ramos for two games. "Ramos has been punished for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose," said Uefa.
Real Madrid, who are seeking a fourth consecutive Champions League trophy, entertain Ajax on 5 March.
On the same night the Bundesliga pacesetters Borussia Dortmund host the Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur. The north Londoners take a 3-0 lead into the second leg.