Interim Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has insisted that captain Sergio Ramos did not intentionally elbow Viktoria Plzen defender Milan Havel.
The pair were involved in a tussle for the ball during Wednesday night’s Champions League clash that resulted in Havel receiving a heavily blooded nose.
The Spanish international has since claimed that the collision was accidental, something his manager also believes.
“Ramos is a brave and honest man,” Solari told the press ahead of Sunday’s game against Celta Vigo.
“All of us who play football know that it is a contact sport, with men fighting for a ball on the ground or in the air. There was no bad intention.
“No one’s nose is more fractured than Ramos. He knows in his own flesh what this sport is. There is no bad intention, always play fair and this is a contact sport,” he added.
Ramos has drawn criticism following the incident, with video footage appearing to show him thrusting an elbow towards his opponent. And while the 32-year-old has denied intentionally injuring Havel, he has admitted he was wrong to tackle in such an aggressive nature.
Ramos has, of course, been involved in similar incidents over the years, most notably in last season’s Champions League final when his coming together with Mohamed Salah resulted in the Egyptian’s dislocated shoulder.
The defender is not currently enjoying his best spell at the Bernabeu and has been jeered by the home supporters since the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, with many believing the Spain international holds too much power at Real.
The side from the Spanish capital face Celta Vigo on Sunday evening. Should they win, Real could climb back into the Champions League positions in La Liga.