According to the Liverpool Echo, UEFA has suspended Croatia and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren for one international match because of a postgame Instagram Live rant Lovren went on recently in which he bragged about elbowing Sergio Ramos and called the Spain national team “a bunch of pussies.”
The match in question, a 3-2 Croatia win over Spain, happened back in November in the UEFA Nations League. The victory, sealed with a last-minute winner from another Croatian defender, was a big one, as it kept the Croats in contention for a spot in the Nations League finals and served as revenge for the 6-0 beatdown Spain put on them in this competition in September.
After the game, the famously cocky Lovren found himself luxuriating in the victory and his own swag, and so he went on Instagram Live to talk some of that good shit. He wasted no time reigniting his fairly one-sided feud with Spain and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos:
Here’s what Lovren apparently said in Croatian, according to Spanish paper, AS:
“Elbowed him good,” said Lovren, seemingly citing a challenge on Ramos during the game, while making a gesture with his elbow.
“Haha! 3-2! Go ahead and talk now, buddy. Buddy! They are a bunch of pussies,” he added in reference to Ramos and his Spain team mates.
The next day, Lovren posted a photo of the moment he elbowed Ramos, with the caption “Good morning Croatia”:
A commenter replied to the post, “For @mosalah ?” to which Lovren himself responded with a heart emoji.
As the commenter was getting at, the Lovren-Ramos beef dates back to last season’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Early on in that match, Ramos judo-tackled Liverpool’s superstar forward, Mohamed Salah, which dislocated Salah’s shoulder and knocked him out of the game. Madrid went on to win. Many felt Ramos’s tackle was not only decisive but also intentional, which left a sour taste in fans’ mouths and apparently Lovren’s, too.
Since then, Lovren has taken little pot-shots at Ramos a couple times. At one point, when defending his (factually incorrect) World Cup claim that he is one of the best defenders in the world, Lovren compared himself to Ramos, who is rightly considered one of the best defenders in the world, by basically saying the Spaniard is overrated because of how his superior Real Madrid teammates make him look good. From the Liverpool Echo:
“If you look, Ramos, he has many more mistakes than me but he’s at Real Madrid.
“With [Cristiano] Ronaldo, when you make a mistake, it’s 5-1, 5-2 and nobody sees the mistake.
“I’m quite unlucky, when I make the mistake it’s 1-0. When I do a mistake I don’t talk to anyone, not even my wife… you don’t know how it is.”
“I like [Real Madrid defender Raphaël] Varane, he deserves a lot of credit but he doesn’t get it as much. Ramos get it, I don’t agree with that.”
Ramos has more or less just swatted Lovren’s jabs away, only remarking at one point “I’m not going to answer Lovren or whoever wants to win three front pages or start the news bulletin.” But with November’s Instagram Live rant, UEFA apparently thought a stronger message was necessary to get Lovren to cut out the shenanigans.
The vague rule UEFA punished Lovren under allows it to reprimand anyone “whose conduct is insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct.” He will miss Croatia’s next Euro 2020 qualifying match, which will be against Azerbaijan in March. We can’t be the only ones crossing our fingers for a Liverpool-Real Madrid matchup in the next round of this season’s Champions League.