Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Right to feel cheated or just sour grapes?

Graham Fisher in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 5 May 2011


Bias or not?

Now that the dust has settled on the acrimonious Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid, it is worth taking a look at the way Real Madrid have reacted to their defeat.


The first leg last week at The Bernabeu was a shameful affair with both sides taking a pretty equal share of the blame. Real Madrid put in some questionnable challenges and played an incredibly negative game whilst Barcelona indulged in some disgusting and almost laughable play acting and also surrounded the referee demanding action every time a Real Madrid player made a challenge.

It was not pretty and reserve keeper Pinto was dismissed at half time for a fracas in the player’s tunnel.

The second half saw Real Madrid’s Pepe sent off for a challenge that was hardly worthy of a yellow card and saw almost the entire Barcelona side hassle the referee demanding a red card whilst Danni Alves writhed around in agony on the ground before making a remarkable recovery.


Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was then also sent off after he was seen to say ‘well done’ and clap the fourth official.

Barcelona went on to win the game 2-0 and Mourinho made some pretty strong and surprising allegations after the game.

“It’s clear that against Barcelona you have no chance. I don’t know if it’s the publicity of Unicef, I don’t know if it’s because they are very nice, but they’ve got this power. I don’t know if it’s the friendship of Spanish football federation president Angel Maria Villar at Uefa, where he is vice-president.”


Those comments together with the behaviour of both clubs led to Uefa bringing charges against them both. Their disciplinary panel will hear the case on 6th May.

The second leg on Tuesday at the Camp Nou saw a 1-1 draw but despite Jose Mourinho not being at the ground, the game, although considerably less embarrassing than the first leg, still didn’t pass without controversy.

In a game in which the first goal was always going to be crucial Real Madrid thought they had taken the lead when Higuain found the net, but the referee had given a highly dubious foul by Cristiano Ronaldo on Mascherano.


With Mourinho absent Cristiano Ronaldo led the Redal Madrid players in backing up their manager’s previous comments about UEFA bias towards Barcelona. Talking on the Real Madrid website Ronaldo said,

“Next year they might as well give the cup directly to Barcelona. The team is sad, but we knew it was an uphill battle. The name of the match is Mission Impossible IV. Once again it was the referee that didn’t allow us to dictate the outcome. We knew we could beat Barca, but the referee didn’t let us. Higuain’s goal was good. Pique pushed me and I landed on Mascherano. He didn’t used to fall to the ground in England, but he’s picked up the bad habit of doing it here like everyone else.”

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas joined in with the comments.

“It has happened again, just like it always does. We feel tricked by the officials.”


Xabi Alonso added his opinion to the debate.

“Many bad decisions were made against us and we are not happy about that. We think we did a good job but we feel decisions really went against us.”

Whilst many people may feel that Mourinho and his players have a point, not everyone connected to Real Madrid feels the same. Former club president Ramon Calderon has spoken out about their reaction. Speaking to the BBC he said,


“To talk like that has been harmful for us. Big clubs should not blame the referee for their mistakes or their defeats. We invested £400 million in the last two years to be a very important and strong team so if you lose you cannot blame injuries, bad luck, referees or nothing. If you lose you have to congratulate the rival and that is all. What Mourinho did in terms of talking about Uefa and referees is not acceptable at all.”

So who is right? Is there a bias towards Barcelona and are Real Madrid right to feel cheated, or is this just a case of sour grapes?


Graham Fisher



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12 years ago

i believed real Madrid was cheater by official . Barcelona tricks is to dictate the mach by mislead the referee, which happen to Pepe getting red card , Uefa are punk and disgrace organization this cannot happen in any America sports.If Barcelona win on May 28th , i am stop watching all Uefa games, i believe Busques and Danni Alves should be suspend for life for all Uefa games, and whose Ramon Calderon, he should mind his owns business

12 years ago

what kind of question is that, of course Real Madrid was cheated, we all saw it on TV, the behaviour of the barcelona players are just disgusting and why would the referee disallow the goal of Higuian when Ronaldo was clearly fouled and just rolled over and the barca player made a very OSCARWINNING dive. Barcelona is scared of losing that’s why they need the help of the officials. Alves is a disgrace in football and so is barcelona.

Jensen richard
Jensen richard
12 years ago

First i will say that Uefa did not stand it grounds.they are the governing body of the competition.the first referee who was changed to the German referee prior to the game was the first mistake/how can uefa rate his performance?nada…after that it was clear that the outcome was dictate by referee…red card especially to Pepe,Disallowed goal..what do people call negative approach?We use tactics in which we believe in at a particular moment of a time…RM played good football as well….but vs FCB if they need win,different approach must be make, and that is why JM is different.Anyway Viva foootballl.

12 years ago

although both teams had bad spot on the trail of the match in the classico, it would very wrong to take path with mourinho’s thought….. I would only ask the question, why was it when jose mourinho joined madrid the refrees started to cheat real madrid?, was there no classico a year before?…. Mourinho started the whole process, presently it would be hard for any refree to officiate in a match involving the two teams to satisfaction.. Madrid will always feel cheated except they win barca or mou leaves the club.

12 years ago

how the whole process started: when mourinho arrived the club, he has alway known barcelona would be his only obstacle, he relished a method that would suit their attack style of play… Mourinho would go on to use quotes to motivate his players teaching them to be brutal in attack especially when they can’t get the ball. Marcelo’s words when mou arrives at bernabeu- ‘mourinho taught me to be brutal’ this became obvious as pepe and marcelo especially became unecessarily rough even with teams other than barca… This was the begning of the new real madrid.

barca fan
barca fan
12 years ago

exactly brutality is the key word .
and u ask why we get red carded
play football not kickboxing this includes marcelo ramos pepe arbeloa and specially stupid adebayor
play football

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