Norway's Josh King Says He Has Not Faced a Defender 'As Nice As' Sergio Ramos

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MARCH 23: Sergio Ramos of Spain, celebrate his goal the 2-1 during the  EURO Qualifier match between Spain  v Norway  at the Estadio de Mestalla on March 23, 2019 in Valencia Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

It's not often opponents have compliments reserved for Sergio Ramos, but Norway striker Josh King said the Spain defender's dubious reputation was undeserved after they faced off on Saturday.

Spain beat Norway 2-1 at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia and King enjoyed taking on Ramos in their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier.

He told Nettavisen's Simen Lonning and Egil Sande (h/t Goal's Will Kent):

"Ramos has a reputation of being dirty and rough, but I do not remember going up against a centre-back as nice as him.

"I have not seen all of his matches but I think that all of his challenges were clean and he seemed to me a very good sportsman.

"He won some duels and I won others, I think it was a good game."

Bournemouth forward King equalised with a 65th-minute spot-kick following Rodrigo's early opener, but Ramos replied with a Panenka penalty six minutes later to hand La Roja the victory.

The centre-back has a long-held reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the modern game due to his aggressive style of play and willingness to push boundaries on the pitch.

Red cards have been a familiar sight for the 32-year-old over the years:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Sergio Ramos' red cards in La Liga by season: 2005-06: 3 2006-07: 1 2007-08: 3 2008-09: 1 2009-10: 1 2010-11: 1 2011-12: 1 2012-13: 1 2013-14: 2 2014-15: 0 2015-16: 2 2016-17: 1 2017-18: 2 2018-19: 1 2014-15 was a season to remember. 😇 https://t.co/J2zOBPEsRB

He's also received over 200 yellow cards during his club career, including 12 this season.

One of those in this campaign led to a late red card in the first leg of Real Madrid's last-16 UEFA Champions League tie with Ajax:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

'87: Asensio puts Real ahead '89: Sergio Ramos yellow, will miss second leg "That is very obvious that he was looking to get booked there." Master of the Dark Arts? 🤔 https://t.co/X6bfp6lKsb

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Real Madrid and Ajax started frantically, brought some controversy, and finished with some major late drama 🤯 https://t.co/zfn02lszWA

Ramos admitted he picked up the booking deliberately in a bid to have the slate wiped clean for the quarter-finals:

B/R Football @brfootball

Sergio Ramos admitted he got a yellow card on purpose to avoid the threat of a suspension in later #UCL rounds 👀 https://t.co/M6HhYuxlZm

His plan backfired, however, as without him Real lost 4-1 in the second leg to end their hopes of winning a fourth consecutive title, and UEFA handed him an additional one-match suspension for getting a yellow card on purpose.

King will come up against Ramos again in October, when Norway and Spain play out their second meeting in Euro 2020 qualifying.