Brazilian midfielder Ramires played his last game of the season last night as the Blues crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of the impressive Atletico Madrid.
The 27-year-old – who was previously suspended for receiving a red card against Aston Villa – was handed a four-match suspension following an incident during Chelsea’s defeat at home to Sunderland.
The Blues lost the match 2-1, and although they didn’t receive a single yellow card throughout the game, tempers boiled over and Ramires threw an arm at Black Cats’ midfielder Seb Larsson which was later picked up by the FA after the match officials initially failed to spot it.
As a result of his suspension, the former Benfica midfielder knew that only a victory against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid would prolong his season in a Chelsea shirt.
Jose Mourinho’s side, however, were unable to overcome the Spanish league leaders and bowed out following a 3-1 defeat – denying Ramires the chance to return to Lisbon for one last swansong before this summer’s World Cup.
After the match, Chelsea’s number 7 took to Instagram to leave a heartfelt message and backed his teammates to finish the season strongly in his absence.
“I'm still very sad because of our elimination yesterday, but I would like to congratulate my teammates and everyone in Chelsea for the great Champions League campaign. We fought, played with our hearts, and made Chelsea one of the four best teams in Europe. No one can erase this. We still have two games in the Premier League. Unfortunately I can't help, but know that my friends will give their best one more time. The battle continues...Come on, Chelsea!”
The Blues' two remaining games are against strugglers Norwich City and Cardiff City.
Despite being two points behind Liverpool in second place, only a minor miracle will allow the Blues to topple the Reds and Manchester City to win their fourth Premier League title this side of the millennium.