Yellow cards picked up by Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso during Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Galatasaray yesterday have pulled attention in Spain.
Ramos was carded for kicking the ball away after the referee had blown for a free-kick in the closing stages of yesterday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
UEFA also confirmed post-match that Alonso was booked for having blocked Gala’s attempts late in the second half to take a free-kick.
For both players it was their third yellow of the competition, prompting an automatic one-game ban for the return leg in Istanbul next week.
Speculation in Spain is that the duo forced their bookings, so as to wipe their slate clean ahead of a potential semi-final and avoid suspension in a more decisive future fixture.
Madrid were found guilty two years ago by UEFA over the same two players picking up deliberate red cards in Madrid’s group stage encounter with Ajax, to similarly wipe out the risk of future suspensions.
This season has seen the European game’s governing body introduce a new regulation to ban any player found guilty of deliberately picking up a card for a further two games.
Sergio Ballesteros fell foul of this earlier in the season when UEFA determined that he had deliberately got booked in a Europa League match for Levante.
Coach Jose Mourinho indicated post-match that Ramos and Alonso’s bookings last night were not deliberate.