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Madrid's Ramos admits picking up intentional yellow against Ajax

00:10 GMT 14/02/2019
The defender could risk an extended ban after confessing that he sought a booking in the final minutes of his team's 2-1 win in Amsterdam

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has admitted that he picked up an intentional booking towards the end of his side's victory over Ajax to ensure availability for the Champions League quarter-finals.

The reigning European champions were made to sweat in Amsterdam, but eventually powered through to a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.

Ajax struck back with Hakim Ziyech's goal to keep a slither of hope going into March's second leg, while they also felt aggrieved when Nicolas Tagliafico's opener was chalked off in controversial circumstances by the VAR. 

Ramos, meanwhile, will miss the return match after receiving a yellow card 89 minutes into the game, for a foul he later hinted was committed on purpose. 

"Looking at the result, I'd be lying if I said I didn't force [the booking]," Ramos said when asked about the offence. 

"It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over, but in football you have to make tough decisions." 

It is not the first time that Ramos has come under the microscope for allegedly manipulating UEFA's suspension regulations. 

In November 2010, against none other than Ajax, he and Xabi Alonso were both sent off for double bookable offences at the end of a routine 4-0 victory for the Spaniards. 

Each player was called up for time wasting, raising suspicions that then-Madrid coach Jose Mourinho had instructed the pair to seek deliberate punishment in order to serve their suspensions during the last group stage match against Auxerre rather than in the knockout stages. 

A subsequent UEFA investigation handed Mourinho a two-match touchline ban for his antics, later reduced to one match on appeal, while Ramos and Alonso were both fined. 

In 2017 another Madrid player fell foul of the European governing body for trying to subvert the rules. 

UEFA deemed that Ramos' team-mate Dani Carvajal had intentionally sought a yellow against APOEL and extended his ban to two games, ruling him out of Madrid's subsequent last-16 first leg.

Madrid return to the pitch with a league clash against Girona on Sunday, with the side looking to close down a six-point gap to La Liga leaders and rivals Barcelona