England captain Harry Kane has called Sergio Ramos a great defender who ‘pushes the boundaries’, but stopped short of condemning him for his tackle on Mohamed Salah in last season’s Champions League final.
In the Tottenham striker’s eyes, Ramos was being combative but didn’t overstep the mark.
It’s a comment that will likely anger many Liverpool supporters who felt the tackle, which ultimately injured Salah and saw him forced off in the first half of the final, as deliberate and unacceptable.
Speaking at the press conference ahead of the game against Spain, Kane was quoted by GiveMeSport, saying: “I haven’t spoken to Jordan about him or the Champions League final (defeat), I don’t think he would want to talk about that too much, as I wouldn’t.
“But Ramos is a competitive player. A great, great defender on and off the ball. We played against him last year against Madrid.
“He’s a tough centre-half. He wasn’t over the top, he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
“He tests the boundaries, but that’s what the referees are there for.”
Ramos found himself regularly booed by England supporters throughout the match, though it appeared to have made little impact on the 32-year-old’s performance for Spain.
When Ramos himself was asked about the incident he said: “I never wanted to hurt a colleague on the pitch of course, so my conscience is really clear about what I did that night. I’m not going to be affected by that at all.
“I know the English fans will treat players as they deserve and I’m not worried about that in the slightest.”
Kane himself is probably regretting his comments after the 2-1 defeat to Spain, having described how referees were there to sort out what was fair and what was not on the pitch, only to be left outraged when Dutch referee Danny Makkelie controversially disallowed Danny Welbeck’s late equaliser.