Sergio Ramos' reputation continues to shield him from criticism in the Madrid media, according to Spanish football journalist Dermot Corrigan.
The two-time Uefa defender of the year led Real Madrid to four Champions Leagues in the last decade but Corrigan – speaking on Thursday's OTB AM – believes the Spaniard has become susceptible to mistakes over the past two seasons.
Corrigan explained that despite high-profile errors and wavering form at times, Ramos still appears immune from criticism in some sections of the Spanish media.
"He's such a character and he's such a huge part of Madrid's club history, Spain's history.
"Everyone knows him in Spain even if you're not a football fan, he is a part of Spain. So, to criticise him is very difficult here and a lot of the local journalists shy away from it. They prefer maybe to focus on somebody else making mistakes."
Highlighting some of the mistakes that Ramos has escaped criticism for, Corrigan singled out the centre-back's decision to get a yellow card against Ajax last year thinking it would prevent him from being banned after the last-16 tie.
"He's not had a good couple of years. You'll remember last year when he got himself booked at liberty to miss the second-leg at Ajax and then was watching in the stands being filmed for a documentary as his team went out.
"This season he has made a lot of mistakes. They drew 2-2 against Celta Vigo at home a couple of weeks ago, he was at fault for the late goal in that game.
"Even last night [he had an] error early on in the game. He miscued a clearance to Jésus who might have scored. He almost scored an own goal just at that corner at half time, there was a scramble on the line and one of his teammates had to help him out there. Then he was involved in the first goal and sent off."
As the errors continue to creep into the 33-year-old's game, Corrigan believes more and more people will begin to finally find the courage to criticise him.
"So, people are starting to point the finger a little bit. You just can't help to point the finger at him because he was just so bad I guess, but still, he has that little bit of protection as someone like John Terry in England did, who was national captain and such a big figure – he didn't tend to get as criticised as much as he deserved."
You can watch Dermot Corrigan's full chat about Real Madrid here.