Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos: Goal Celebration No Lionel Messi Copy

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Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has denied his "telephone" celebration in Tuesday's Champions League win at Napoli was a copy of Lionel Messi's similar recent gesture.

Ramos made a "call me" hand signal to the cameras after heading in a Toni Kroos corner to make it 1-1 on the night and put Madrid on their way to a 6-2 aggregate win.

His goal came with Napoli having cut their aggregate deficit to 3-2 and dominating the game.

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Messi adopted a similar celebration when Barcelona beat Celta Vigo at the weekend, with some pundits believing it was aimed at president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

However, it was later explained as Messi asking his young nephew to call him.

Asked about the celebration on Antena 3, Ramos said he had done it first after scoring in December's Clasico.

"I made the gesture before Leo did," he said. "I did it at the Camp Nou."

Sergio Ramos celebrates his equaliser for Real Madrid.

Ramos thought he had added another goal as Madrid won 3-1 on the night, although it was later given as a Dries Mertens own goal.

But Madrid's director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, told MEGA: "Players build their personal legends in these type of games. It is extraordinary that a centre-back can be so decisive."

Teammate Lucas Vazquez said Ramos was "like a hammer" when he rose to meet a cross into the opposition penalty area.

And Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina said his long-time Spain colleague had a "determination" to get to the ball that made him more difficult to defend against than anybody else.

"That determination makes him different from the rest," he added. "And [Toni] Kroos made it very difficult for us with his delivery."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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