Sergio Ramos has mocked the reaction to his challenges on Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Loris Karius in the Champions League final.
Real Madrid captain Ramos tangled with Salah in the first half of the crunch Kiev clash, leading the Reds star to be withdrawn with a shoulder issue, putting his participation at the World Cup in doubt.
Madrid went on to claim a third consecutive European title after two errors from goalkeeper Karius, who appeared to be caught with an elbow by Ramos shortly beforehand.
Doctors in the United States have subsequently confirmed that Karius suffered concussion during the final.
Salah is now optimistic about making a return in time to feature for Egypt in Russia, but that has not halted criticism of Ramos, with a petition demanding the defender be punished collecting over 500,000 signatures.
Yet Ramos cannot believe the response to the incidents and, speaking on international duty with Spain, the 32-year-old pondered whether he would have been to blame if Roberto Firmino had been struck down by a cold, too.
“Bloody hell, they’ve given this a lot of attention, the Salah thing,” he said. “I didn’t want to speak because everything is magnified.
“I see the play well, he grabs my arm first and I fell to the other side. The injury happened to the other arm and they said that I gave him a judo hold.
“After, the goalkeeper said that I dazed him with a clash. I am only missing Firmino saying that he got a cold because a drop of my sweat landed on him.”
And Ramos claims Salah could have played on in the second half of last month’s final, suggesting the blow was exaggerated because it came from the Spain defender.
“I spoke with Salah through messages. He was quite good,” said Ramos.
“He could have played if he got an injection for the second half – I have done it sometimes – but when Ramos does something like this, it sticks a little bit more.
“I don’t know if it’s because you’re at Madrid for so long and win for so long that people look at it a different way.”