Real Madrid’s defence was chaotic as Los Blancos fell to a 1-4 defeat to Manchester City in Los Angeles, provoking Madrid fans to question the continued absence of Sergio Ramos.
Sergio Ramos' mysterious absence
The club captain has yet to make his pre-season bow, and an air of mystery has shrouded Ramos throughout the summer.
In the first instance, it was curious that Ramos did not travel to the United States on July 11, along with his Spain team-mates Nacho, Isco, and Álvaro Morata. All four had been in Macedonia on June 12 with Julen Lopetegui’s squad.
The unofficial version of events is that Ramos appeared in California two days later, on July 13, although he did not join up with the Real Madrid squad until July 16. Madrid have explained that the 31-year-old was given a longer period of rest than his team-mates, as a result of the amount of games he played for club and country.
Yet, while the late-arrivals from the Spain U21 side (Vallejo, Asensio, Ceballos, Llorente, and Mayoral) all debuted against Guardiola’s City, Ramos played no part.
Ear problems to blame
The root of the mystery is a problem with Ramos’ right ear. While on holiday, his partner, Pilar Rubio, uploaded a video to social media of the pair scuba diving in Cancún, Mexico. Scuba diving can cause hearing issues as a result of the under-water pressure.
Ramos arrived at Madrid’s pre-season camp in pain, and that pain did not diminish following initial treatment. The club’s medical staff injected cortisone, and gave the former-Sevilla man a further 48 hours of rest. He returned after that, but struggled with balance, a common symptom of ear injuries.
Zidane added to the confusion on Saturday: “He is almost ready. On Monday or Tuesday he’ll be with the team.”
Back for the Miami Clásico
Sergio Ramos’ recovery did not go according to that prediction, and he was not ready to return ahead of the surprise thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.
On Thursday, Ramos showed signs of improvement. He joined in with training, scored a goal in the practice match, and will play a part in the Clásico in Miami.