Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold says Sergio Ramos is ‘the best centre-back in the world’, ignoring the Spain star’s villain status among fans.
The Real Madrid captain has been one of the most debated and praised figures in European football for the best part of a decade now, often producing awe-inspiring performances in defence as well as attracting controversy with his ill-discipline and no-nonsense approach to the game.
One such moment was during the Champions League final against Liverpool back in May, when he appeared to intentionally haul Mohamed Salah to the ground in the first half, which caused the Egyptian to leave the pitch early with a shoulder injury.
The Reds went on to lose the final 3-1 and supporters have lambasted Ramos with criticism ever since, which the Spaniard has taken in his stride seemingly unaffected.
The 32-year-old played at Wembley on Saturday as Spain beat England in the Nations League and in the wake of the result Alexander-Arnold has surprisingly expressed his admiration towards the Madrid defender.
He told the Guardian on Monday: “Everyone has their way of winning and I think he’s showed over the years that he’s a winner.
“So has his team. To win the Champions League three times in a row takes some doing. Ramos has probably been the best centre-back in the world for some time. Even if he was the enemy in May you still have to respect him as a player.”
The young full-back’s diplomatic comments may serve to rile up Liverpool fans even further, but there is no doubt that whatever Ramos’ faults may be, he remains a world-class player at both club and international level.