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Featured Image Credit: UEFA
Jose Mourinho has a whole different level of thinking, so much so that he once asked his players to get sent off to give the team an advantage in the long-haul.
With Real already into the next round with a game to spare, Mourinho's thinking was that two of his most important players could serve their one-match suspension in the final group game against French side Auxerre and then enter the knockout stages with their record wiped.
Throwback to when Mourinho told Alonso and Ramos to both get sent-off so they would enter the knock out rounds without the risk of getting suspended. Prime Mourinho 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ChzJ5wlxbE— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) July 14, 2020
The Portuguese manager was seen in conversation with Alonso just before the start of the second half and he was first to go. Already on a booking, he purposely took an absolute age to take a free-kick and was given his marching orders.
Then, to add to the conspiracy theory, Ramos decided to take one of Iker Casillas' goal-kicks and he too was guilty of time-wasting - leading to a second yellow and subsequent dismissal.
Incredibly, Ramos shook the hand of referee Craig Thomson to almost thank him for the red card.
You didn't need to be Colombo to clock on to what Mourinho and Real were doing and UEFA duly punished all those involved.
Mourinho received a touchline ban, the red cards stood, and there were a number of fines handed out.
"Players Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were fined €20,000, Iker Casillas was fined €10,000 and Jerzy Dudek was fined €5,000," UEFA said in a statement.
"The red cards given to Alonso and Ramos stand, and they have therefore been suspended for one Uefa club competition match.
"The control and disciplinary body has decided to fine Real Madrid CF €120,000. An appeal may be lodged against the ruling within three days of the dispatch of the reasoning for the decision."
Nine years later, Ramos was up to his old tricks against Ajax. Mere minutes after Marco Asensio put Real 2-1 up in the 87th minute, the Real Madrid skipper clattered Kasper Dolberg very blatantly and got himself in the book for the 38th time in the Champions League.
Ramos was one yellow card away from a European suspension and Martin Keown, on co-commentary for BT Sport, noted that it looked deliberate from the Spaniard, who was clearly thinking about having a clean slate for the quarter final stage.
But with there being video footage of him asking the bench if he should get a caution, UEFA found him guilty of "forcing a yellow card" and banned him for the next two games.
'87: Asensio puts Real ahead— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 13, 2019
'89: Sergio Ramos yellow, will miss second leg
"That is very obvious that he was looking to get booked there."
Master of the Dark Arts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/X6bfp6lKsb
Not that it mattered in the slightest as Ramos watched from the stands as Ajax dismantled Real 4-1 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It seems Carlo Ancelotti remembered that incident earlier this season.
After going 3-0 up against Sheriff Tiraspol back in November, Casemiro approached his manager and seemingly asked if he should get booked.
The Brazil international was one yellow card away from suspension and would have been banned for the final group stage matchday against Inter Milan.
Bookings refresh for the knockout stages and Casemiro would have been available for the round of 16 fixture.
Ancelotti immediately shook his head and said no. Can you blame him?