Barcelona defender Dani Alves says referees were afraid to book Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo during Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash.
The two rivals played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the tie, but the Brazilian feels the public’s desire to see an individual battle between the Portuguese and Lionel Messi influenced the officials.
“We already know how he operates and how all this plays out. There’s nothing to be done. People talk and reject things, but I still don’t understand how Cristiano didn’t get a yellow card,” he told reporters.
“If it had been me it would have been a red card. But if he missed the second game, then there’s no Clasico and that’s not interesting to lots of people, as there would be no battle with Messi.
“I’m saying what I think, as I don’t owe anything to anybody.”
The Brazilian was reportedly subjected to racist chants in the Spanish capital, and said football is fighting a losing battle against discrimination.
“I didn’t think about leaving the pitch, but it’s harassment. It doesn’t only happen at the Bernabeu, but at all the stadiums we go to. People are fighting to see this doesn’t happen but it keeps happening,” Alves said.
“It’s a shame. You can be playing well or not, but the people that go to the game should support their team. Racism in football is a battle that’s lost, until drastic measures are taken.
“I’ve been in Spain for 10 years and it’s still happening. This isn’t one of the places I feel most like a victim. There are worse. It happens in general all over Spain.”