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LIGA BBVA | LEVANTE 1-2 REAL MADRID | BALLESTEROS

Ballesteros: "I didn't attack Pepe, I've never hurt anyone"

"It's as if Levante have done something extraordinary or illegal, but the only thing we did wrong was to have Real Madrid against the ropes for 80 minutes."

EFE

Ballesteros: "I didn't attack Pepe, I've never hurt anyone"

Levante defender Sergio Ballesteros has responded to Sergio Ramos's disparaging comments about him and Levante's conduct after their defeat to Real Madrid on Sunday in the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.

Ballesteros said he wanted to "highlight the attitude of the team" in the game against Madrid and thanked the club's supporters "for coming to support us on such a rainy day".

He denied that he entered the Real Madrid dressing room after the match to attack Pepe, saying: "Judgements have been made by people who have not made any efforts to verify the information. I have never assaulted anyone in my life, and I certainly have never attacked Pepe, I swear it. The only thing I did was enter the dressing room to see how Cristiano was."

"A few things are clear. I'm not going to criticise or judge anybody, but things happen for a reason. There was a ruckus for a reason, it didn't happen by chance. You only have to look at what happened," he added, in reference to the incidents that took place in the tunnel after the game.

"I am hurt by what has been said. I am used to being criticised, but I've played in La Liga for 20 years, and I haven't been sent off for five years. Before the game I congratulated Sergio Ramos and Casillas because what they have done with the national team has made us very proud. I don't know if they've been given the wrong information about what happened, but they've shown me a lack of respect."

"I left the pitch and went into the dressing room, that's all. Someone told me that Cristiano was in the first aid room so I went to see him, that's all I know," explained Ballesteros.

"I'm very hurt by what has been said about David [Navarro, who elbowed Ronaldo]. People have made judgements about him and about me. David was going for the ball and didn't see Cristiano."

When asked about why he punched Xabi Alonso in the back during the game, Ballesteros responded: "This is football, Xabi beat me to do the ball and these things happen. I have stud marks all over my legs. The only reason this is a big deal is because it's Real Madrid, but many things happen in a match. It's as if Levante have done something extraordinary or illegal, but the only thing we did wrong was to have Real Madrid against the ropes for 80 minutes.

"I'm not going to judge Real Madrid, but Levante have 103 years of history and I ask for a bit of respect for us. It seems absurd to bring up photos from the past. Sunday's game was a clean game and it will go down in history as just another day in our 103 year history."

Ballesteros has received 111 yellow cards and has been sent off on 11 occasions in La Liga, and picked up 19 bookings and three red cards while playing in La Segunda.

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