Jose Mourinho has tried to show that no player is too important to be dropped from the Real Madrid team by leaving vice-captain Sergio Ramos out of the team that came from behind to beat the English champions Manchester City on Tuesday night.
Ramos is normally guaranteed a start, so the rumour mill instantly started turning as reporters wondered what had happened to cause this. The favourite suggestion in the Spanish media is that Ramos took exception to the words of his coach after the league defeat by Sevilla.
Mourinho criticised his whole team for their effort and application, and the feeling is that they felt this was unfair and that a poorly organised pre-season was to blame. Nobody said anything to Mourinho, though, except Ramos and he was duly punished. Ramos has said nothing publicly about the disagreement, he even announced his pleasure and congratulations to the rest of the team for their dramatic win.
Ramos went to Madrid’s training ground at Valdebebas yesterday, even though it was a day off for the players. Although he was not alone, Kaka, Casillas and Callejon were there, he did not join them but trained on his own. Mourinho has done this before with Ronaldo, Carvalho and players at his former clubs. He always says that it is a tactical decision but not many believe him.
It will be interesting to see if Ramos plays against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday as he has not missed a single minute of league football this season.