Just as Spain has had to contend with a ‘black legend’, so too have Real Madrid. It’s not surprising, given that in many ways the club is considered representative of its home country. Indeed, I’d say Madrid actively encourage that reputation. The difference, however, is that the Spanish black legend was created abroad, in particular by the British empire, the successor to ours, until it permeated our own nation; Madrid’s black legend, meanwhile, emerged within Spain, born out of the repetition and persistence of many adversaries of the club. And, it seems, it is also hitting home overseas. I say that because of a remark made by L’Équipe about Sergio Ramos’ sending-off in Paris Saint-Germain’s draw with Lorient.
Ramos' Real referee experiences belie L'Équipe quip
“He thought he’d get the same treatment from referees as he did at Real Madrid, and was booked twice in quick succession (81’ and 85’),” the French newspaper wrote. The fellow journalist who wrote this, undoubtedly influenced by what he or she hears about Madrid from voices in Spain, must be unaware that Ramos is the Spanish league’s most sent-off player, with 20 red cards - a tally to which you also need to add the five he has in the Champions League (also a record, shared with Edgar Davids and Zlatan Ibrahimovic), and one in the Spanish Super Cup. Twenty-six reds in total for Madrid, compared with none in 180 caps for Spain. He also wasn’t sent off for Sevilla, albeit he didn’t play there for very long.
It's surprising to hear this from L'Équipe, of all publications
And yet Ramos goes to France and is dismissed because “he thought he’d get the same treatment from referees as he did at Real Madrid”. It’s all the more surprising to hear the remark come from L’Équipe, which has traditionally shared a feeling of mutual admiration with ‘Le Réal’, because the success of the European Cup is largely thanks to the efforts of the two organisations. However, the constant noise about Madrid has ended up making its mark in France and given rise to this flippant comment by a journalist who doubtless believes this to be the case, because he or she has heard it come out of Spain so many times. It’s something Madrid have had to deal with in this country since they became the best, back in the 1950s, and they now find it in the pages of their old ally L’Équipe.