Sergio Ramos on referee row: I did not cross any lines

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was probed on his referee row and a potential contract renewal ahead of the clash with Manchester City.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was booked after just 10 minutes of the 1-0 defeat on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

Sergio Ramos does not feel he "crossed any lines" with his criticism of referee Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez following Real Madrid's shock loss to Levante.

Madrid captain Ramos was booked after just 10 minutes of the 1-0 defeat on Saturday and the centre-back also felt Los Blancos were twice denied penalties.

The Spain centre-back let his frustration be known after the game when he said: "I'm annoyed with Hernandez Hernandez.

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"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."

It is not the first time Ramos has taken issue with the official this season, having been left annoyed when VAR was not used to check a couple of calls in December's goalless Clasico with Barcelona.

But Ramos justified his comments after the Levante defeat when previewing Madrid's Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Manchester City.

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"I don't feel persecuted in Spain, but the philosophy is different in Europe, a bit more permissive in some things," he said. 

"The last game [Levante] was something personal, but generally I feel I have a good relationship with refs.

"I've never said anything out of place, nor never lacked respect for any referee. This is a democracy, and you can speak your mind, I don't think I've crossed any lines."

Ramos, 33, also insisted he is in no rush to enter contract negotiations, with his deal set to expire in June 2021.

Reports suggest Madrid is reluctant to meet Ramos' demands for a two-year extension but the defender insists that is not the case.

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"The relationship with the club is magnificent in every way. So there is no rush on any side - mine or club," he added.

"I've never made extra demands, I understand club's policy with players of certain age. If club wants me to say, I'll stay, no need to worry.

"It seems they want to provoke a confrontation between the club and Ramos and it will not be like that."

Ramos and his Madrid teammates will go head-to-head with a familiar foe in the form of ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola when they face City at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The long-serving former Sevilla man expressed his respect for the Catalan coach but insists Madrid's only motivation is winning the Champions League.

"I have a lot of respect for Guardiola, a great coach, with so much experience. His numbers speak for themselves," he said.

"Our big motivation is just we are playing the Champions League, not the rival club or coach."

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