Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius may have been affected by a collision with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos before making two errors during Saturday’s Champions League final, Manuel Neuer has argued.
The Bayern Munich and Germany No.1, who has missed much of this season due to serious injury, believes that Ramos elbowed Karius early in the second half, which may have had an impact on his compatriot’s concentration later in the game.
Liverpool went down 3-1 to Real Madrid, with the Spanish side getting their opener in bizarre style as Karim Benzema blocked Karius’ attempted throw out into the net. Although Sadio Mane levelled, Gareth Bale put the Spaniards back into the lead with a spectacular overhead kick before sealing the victory with a long-range shot the Liverpool keeper fumbled into his net.
Neuer, though, believes the off-the-ball collision may have played a greater role than is being given credit.
“You can only speculate whether the alleged elbow impacted Karius,” he told ZDF.
“But an elbow to the face is certainly not very comfortable and in that situation it was unnecessary by Ramos.
“There is no need to use the elbow in that situation.”
Although he criticised the defender over that incident, Neuer did admit that Ramos is a player he holds in the highest regard.
“He is the kind of player that I would have always selected first in school to have him on my team because he is an absolute leader who works with all measures,” he said.
Ramos had scored in two of his previous three Champions League final appearances, but while he was not on target on Saturday, he had an impact on many of the match’s most controversial moments, having been involved previously in an incident that saw Mohamed Salah go off injured in the opening period.