As we build up to the El Clasico this weekend, we look at previous events that have caused harm to the clash and let the result be decided due to unfortunate circumstances, the main focus remains on the referees who have disrupted the games on previous occasions.
Going into this fixture La Liga referees are the talk of the town, especially after the poor display which was witnessed in the clash between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Real Madrid VS Bayern Munich: the biggest daylight robbery of all time.— Monzi (cvg) (@MagicOfBarca) April 18, 2017
This is what people think "scandal of the bridge" was. pic.twitter.com/10nb5Kguvx
We need to keep in mind, the Clasico is a celebrated battle between two great Spanish teams Real Madrid and Barcelona, and on many occasions, it is difficult to split these two teams. However, at times the pressure is so high that blunders occur leading the game in one team’s favour.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have faced each other a whopping 232 times, in competitive football over the years with Real Madrid winning 93 against Barcelona’s 109, with 30 of those fixtures ending in a draw.
Messi continues to hold the record for the most goals in Clasico history with 21 to his name, and with the battle fierce and intense expect the Argentine to clock a few more.
Keeping the history aside we now take into account the dark side to the game, the game which wasn’t decided by the players but by the decisions made by the referees. We highlight a few instances below:
1) Rivaldo’s disallowed goal when score was level as 2-2
In March 2011, Real Madrid hosted Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu, and scores were level at 2-2 with Rivaldo on the verge of a hat-trick with just seconds left in the game he managed to take a shot, which was deflected off a Real Madrid defender and found the back of the net. Catalonian fans were overjoyed only to be silenced seconds later as the referee disallowed the goal.
The linesman had raised his flag, despite no Barcelona player coming in contact with the ball, the goal was ruled offside as Barcelona saw Real Madrid snatched 2 points away from them.
2) Pepe’s challenge onto Dani Alves
Pepe’s challenge on Dani Alves, though it was foul and Dani Alves was genuinely hurt, but his added theatrics urged the referee to show the Portuguese the red card. The game until then was at par with score 0-0, but Madrid found themselves on the back foot and they conceded two goals to Leo Messi in the final minutes putting Barcelona ahead as they went into the second leg.
3) 3 penalties, 1 red card and 7 goals, say what?
March 2014, Barcelona won this fixture 4-3, with Messi notching a hat-trick but the game had plenty of drama including 3 penalties and a sending off.
From the 3 penalties awarded in the game, the first one was deemed highly controversial the fact that Ronaldo fell outside the box and still given a penalty, sounds absolutely ridiculous!
The second one had more drama than intended. Ramos was sent for a challenge on Neymar, only for replays to show there was absolutely no contact by the Spaniard onto the Brazilian, unlucky or foolishness by the ref?
The third penalty was the only one that made sense and was a non-controversial decision. Xabi Alonso’s foul onto Andres Iniesta late in the game, which saw Barcelona walk away as winners in a drama filled clash.
Despite plenty of games being decided due to referees poor decisions, these are not the only growing concerns in the game. For instance in October 2015 according to the Daily Mail, a linesman complained to the Spanish police that he was told to favour Real Madrid in the following month’s El Clasico clash.
Another instance in December 2016 saw a referee being suspended for two weeks, as The Mirror report suggested the referee was ‘being too friendly’ with the referees. It is important for the Spanish game to avoid such controversies and keep the spirit of the game alive to the best of it’s ability.
As we head into the Monday’s clash, fingers crossed there is plenty of action and excitement provided the football and not controversies created by the referees. The fact that it’s a controversial week for Real Madrid, despite going into the semis of the Champions League, many questioned the referee’s decision.
No red card. 2 goals offside! A referee decides who goes through. A disgrace and this can't go on! We all make mistake, but come on!!!!— John Arne Riise (@JARiiseOfficial) April 18, 2017