Sergio Ramos might be the biggest villain in European soccer, but part of the reason he is that is he’s already won, and you know it. He’s got two European Championship medals, a World Cup, a murder of Champions League trophies, a handful of La Liga titles, and will go down as one of, if not the, best defenders in Real Madrid’s and Spain’s history. He was a foundational piece of the national team as it went from the squad that would always find a way to fuck it up to an all-conquering monster that will be remembered as probably the greatest national team ever.
So that only adds to his shit-heel-ness. He can get away with all the elbows and body-checks and kicks because he’s got you beat. Will I ever forgive him for probably costing Liverpool the Champions League in 2018 with his judo-takedown of Mo Salah? No, I will not. And any supporter of Barcelona or Sevilla or Atletico or Juventus or a dozen other teams have moments just like it.
Oh, he’s also an incredible defender, when not punting kittens in his spare time.
So your enjoyment of him looking like an utter clod is limited and guarded, but yesterday afforded us such an opportunity. Ramos didn’t just miss two penalties for Spain against Switzerland yesterday. He bricked them. Shanked them. He was just north of actually whiffing on the ball on the spot.
Making it better is both penalties involve Ramos trying to be more clever than everyone on the field, which is how he’s gotten away with all his shit for over a decade now. He thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, because he usually is.
I could analytically tell you about the first penalty, and that waiting for the keeper to go the wrong way only to find out he never moves leaves the taker standing still without any leverage for power or placement, and likely you’re just going to serve the ball up to him like an hors d’oeuvre.
But Ramos can’t be satisfied with not getting away with something. So when offered the rare second penalty in a game, he didn’t give up the duties. He didn’t change tactics. No, same thing, but this time he tried to add an even more arrogant chip to it. And fucked it all up. This penalty is a white flag from the moment he approached the ball. Even the ball is covering its eyes and pretending to not know Ramos from the moment it left his foot. This is the ugly dude approaching the 10 at the bar. It’s doomed to fail from conception (hardly speaking from personal experience). Magnificent.
Did we mention this was on the night he became the most capped player in European history with his 177th appearance for Spain? Orgasmic.
Of course, Spain would go on to find an equalizer, so even when Ramos loses, he doesn’t totally lose. Shit-heel.