Egyptians branded him “Ramos the Dog” and now Chinese football fans have dubbed Sergio Ramos “a butcher” and “master of karate” for his roughhouse treatment of Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final.
The 32-year-old central defender and captain of Real Madrid previously had more fetching nicknames in Chinese, including a popular one that translates as “Water Lord”, a nod to his sometimes slick hair.
Ten days after Real’s Champions League victory over Liverpool, when Ramos was accused of intentionally injuring Egyptian talisman Salah, Chinese media and social media continue to debate his intervention in Kiev, reflecting the intense interest in top-level European football in the country.
One social media user derided Ramos as “head of the Madrid Martial Arts team”.
Another said: “This brother is a master of Chinese kung fu, Taekwondo, judo and karate.”
“At the World Cup a few players are going to be attacked by his venomous hands,” agreed another on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.
Ramos’s controversial clash with Salah saw the Real player drag the forward to the ground, injuring his shoulder and ending his Champions League dreams in tears.
Real went on to win the match 3-1, thanks largely to Liverpool’s blundering goalkeeper Loris Karius — who Ramos was also accused of injuring.
While he has many Chinese critics, plenty in the country are standing up for Ramos, who will captain Spain at this month’s World Cup in Russia.
“Whether as a player, defender or captain, Ramos is outstanding!” said one fan on Weibo.
Another agreed: “Ramos is a hero.”