Capello accuses Madrid players of trying to injure Messi after 'criminal' Ramos tackle

Sergio Ramos Lionel Messi Barcelona Real Madrid
The Italian coach, who won two Liga titles with los Blancos, believes that the Barcelona No.10 is consistently targeted in Clasico clashes

Fabio Capello accused Real Madrid's players of consistently trying to deliberately injure Lionel Messi as he watched replays of what he called a "criminal" challenge by Sergio Ramos on the Barcelona ace during Sunday's Clasico.

The former Blancos boss covered the game as a co-commentator for Fox Sports Italia and was disgusted by what he saw as blatant attempts to hurt Messi, who was left with blood pouring out of his mouth after being elbowed in the face by Marcelo, and felled three times by Casemiro in the first half alone.

All hail, Messi, the Clasico King!

Indeed, Capello, who won two Liga titles during his two spells in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, was enraged by Sergio Ramos' two-footed lunge on the Argentina international, which resulted in the Real defender being shown a straight red card.

The Spain centre-half felt that the dismissal - his fifth in Clasico history - was "excessive", while Madrid director Emilio Butragueno felt that the decision was debatable.

Lionel Messi Barcelona Real Madrid

Capello, though, was in no doubt that Ramos deserved to walk, arguing that it was further evidence of the home side's persistent rough-house treatment of the Barca No.10.

"You know that every time that there's a Clasico here, at the Bernabeu, it happens that they try to hurt Messi and, every time, it's always a red card," the Italian coach said during the game.

"Look at the challenge! Look at the challenge! A criminal challenge. A clear foul. Clear foul. The dismissal was right."

Neymar trolls Real after Clasico win

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Despite being reduced to 10 men, Real still managed to level the game at two goals apiece when substitute James Rodriguez turned in a cross from Marcelo with just five minutes to go.

However, Messi had the final word, scoring his 500th goal in a Barcelona shirt - and his 23rd in Clasico history - to win the derby for Barca with just 13 seconds of normal time to go.

The result means that the Blaugrana are now back on top of the Liga standings thanks to their superior head-to-head record against Real but, crucially, Zinedine Zidane's men still have a game in hand on their title rivals.