Sergio Ramos has a problem. The Real Madrid skipper is one of the world's great defenders, a true leader and a player whose vital goals have helped his club win important titles over the past few years. But he cannot control his temper.
The 31-year-old was sent off in the 3-0 win away to Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday night, earning a red card for two bookable offences after he escaped with a yellow for pushing Fabian Schar in the face and then received another late on when he left his elbow in following an aerial duel with Borja Valle in added time.
It was the defender's 18th red card in La Liga, equalling an unwanted record previously held by Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado, and his 23rd in 12 years at Real Madrid - more than any other player in the club's entire history.
"When you win many titles, the rivals are full of antipathy towards you," Ramos said after the game. "I do not agree with the card but I respect the opinion of the referee. Sometimes officials should look at English football and let us play more. I like their system because in Europe their referees are more lenient."
However, Ramos' conspiracy theory holds little weight because his disciplinary records speaks for itself and he really should have seen red earlier on in the match following the incident with Schar.
"Ramos pushed me in the face," the Swiss said after the match. "And although it is true that I provoked him beforehand, for me it is a red card." It should have been.
Provocation is part of the game. It is not right, but it exists on pretty much every football field and at this level, players like Ramos really should be able to avoid reacting as he did at Riazor.
It is not the first time he has been in the news for the wrong reasons this term, either, having angered Lionel Messi in last Wednesday's Clasico clash at the Santiago Bernabeu, when he held out the ball to the Argentine only to throw it over his head.
Again, it is impossible to know what was said on the pitch before that, but the action was totally unnecessary and Ramos cannot point his finger at the referees for his constant misdemeanours. On the contrary, he has only himself to blame.
This is the same Sergio Ramos who got away with a clear handball at Espanyol last season (when he had already been booked) by pretending that the ball had hit him in the face. And the same Sergio Ramos who was caught on camera during a Madrid derby telling team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to simulate an elbow by Atletico captain Gabi in order to get the midfielder sent off.
Such behaviour is completey unacceptable and it is no fault of the officials. In fact, he can consider himself extremely fortunate not to have been sent off many more times during his time at Real Madrid.
Playing for Spain, Ramos has not been dismissed once in 143 appearances and it is that more measured approach that he should be adopting for his club as well. Because his continued indiscipline could cost Madrid dearly if it happens in an important match - just as it did in last season's Clasico at the Bernabeu, when Barcelona won and Real were made to work harder than they should to win La Liga over the final few fixtures.