The conclusion of the ongoing international break will mean that the quarter-finals of this season’s edition of the UEFA Champions League will be upon us shortly.
As the best teams in Europe this season are down to eight, we await four mouth-watering clashes over two legs each to decide who will get to the final four in the competition – on the road to the final in Istanbul.
There are certain underlying subplots in every match-up of the round, but one that attracts the most attention is the duel between Mohamed Salah and Sergio Ramos as Liverpool face Real Madrid.
The Premier League champions will face the La Liga champions in a rematch of the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev – a match that is certain to not be one of the most memorable moments to be a Liverpool fan in recent years.
This season’s quarterfinal clash between the two teams will ensure the revival of the rivalry between the Egyptian attacker and the Spanish defender, as the last time that both the players shared the same pitch, Ramos was involved in a physical tussle with Salah about half an hour into the Champions League final.
As a result of the very tough challenge from the Real Madrid skipper, Salah’s shoulder rendered him unable to play the rest of the game.
Salah was in tears as he went off the pitch – he could not apply the finishing touches to what was an incredible, record-breaking season for the Egyptian as he broke the record for the most number of goals scored by one player in a single Premier League season.
Real Madrid went on to win the 2018 final courtesy of a comedy of errors by a certain Loris Karius in goal for Jurgen Klopp’s side, as Salah’s extraordinary campaign ended in a note of agony.
Three years down the line, he has established himself as one of the most influential players in recent history for Liverpool, and helped them win the Premier League last season – but revenge on Ramos seems to be an agenda high on the attacker’s list at the moment.
Salah has been spotted to be going through intense physical training as he looks to face off against Ramos once again, while Ramos, being the incredible competitor that he has developed a reputation for being – has also similarly been spotted putting in the hours in the gym.
Ramos and Salah obviously have a score to settle. pic.twitter.com/KHlAvMkobl— BeksFCB (@Joshua_Ubeku) March 24, 2021
The match promises to be a high-voltage clash with a place in the semi-finals at stake, but the underlying subplot of Salah against Ramos once again is looking to be the key battle within the war to keep a close eye on.