MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos had a fierce argument with club President Florentino Perez in the team’s dressing-room after Tuesday’s 4-1 home defeat by Ajax Amsterdam which knocked them out of the Champions League, Spanish media reported on Thursday.
Newspapers AS, Marca, El Pais and ABC reported the apparent face-off on their websites, saying Perez threatened to sack Ramos in front of the whole squad.
The reports added that the defender responded by saying he would be glad to leave Madrid, where he has played since 2005, providing he was paid the remainder of his contract.
Real Madrid and Ramos’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to AS, Perez told the squad he thought their display in the last-16 second-leg defeat, their joint-heaviest home loss in European competition, was “shameful”, prompting an angry reaction from Ramos who missed the game due to suspension.
Perez said he would sack the defender, who, according to AS, replied by saying “Pay me and I will leave, I have given everything and broken my back for this badge, this club and for you”.
The 5-3 aggregate loss to Ajax handed Real their earliest elimination from the Champions League since 2010 and ended their three-year domination of Europe’s elite competition.
It also meant they have practically nothing left to play for with three months remaining of the season, capping a humiliating week in which they were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barcelona and beaten by Barca in the league, falling 12 points behind their arch-rivals in the title race.
(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)