‘This is a democracy and you can speak your mind, I haven’t crossed any lines’: Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos defends his criticism of referee he called ‘arrogant’ after shock Levante loss last weekend

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos does not feel he ‘crossed any lines’ despite suggesting referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez was ‘arrogant’ following their shock loss to Levante.

Ramos took issue with referee Hernandez Hernandez after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat that left Real trailing rivals Barcelona by two points at the LaLiga summit.

He had been booked just 10 minutes into the contest and felt Los Blancos were denied two penalties during the match.

Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos defends his criticism of referee he called ‘arrogant’

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has defended his criticism of the referee who took charge of their surprise LaLiga defeat to Levante at the weekend

Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos defends his criticism of referee he called ‘arrogant’

Ramos described referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez as ‘arrogant’ in post-match remarks

After the game, Ramos couldn’t contain his irritation and said: ‘I’m annoyed with Hernandez Hernandez.

‘Referees were more respectful before and captains could speak to them. The arrogance is something that you have or you don’t have.

‘I asked if he had any personal problem with me and, if he did, to tell me so we could work it out. We’re annoyed.’

But speaking ahead of Real’s Champions League last-16, first leg fixture with Manchester City on Wednesday night, Ramos felt his weekend remarks were justified.

He said: ‘I don’t feel persecuted in Spain, but the philosophy is different in Europe, a bit more permissive in some things.

Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos defends his criticism of referee he called ‘arrogant’

Ramos reacts after Levante scored the decisive goal in Saturday’s shock defeat 

Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos defends his criticism of referee he called ‘arrogant’

The defender felt that a couple of contentious decisions went against Real Madrid in the game

‘The last game was something personal but generally I feel I have a good relationship with refs.

‘I’ve never said anything out of place, nor lacked respect for any referee.

‘This is a democracy and you can speak your mind. I don’t think I’ve crossed any lines.’

But it isn’t the first time Spain international Ramos has criticised officials this season. He was unhappy that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) wasn’t used to check a couple of contentious decisions in Real’s goalless draw with title rivals Barcelona in December.

Real will have it all to do in their tie with Pep Guardiola’s City, who are all-too-aware this could be their final match in the competitions for over two years if UEFA’s ban on their participation is upheld on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos defends his criticism of referee he called ‘arrogant’

Ramos pictured in training as Real prepare for their Champions League clash with Man City

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