The build-up from some of the Spanish media ahead of Chelsea’s match against Real Madrid this evening has been nothing short of a disgrace.
For a few days there’s been a slant that Real Madrid may receive unfavourable decisions as some sort of revenge from UEFA over the European Super League.
Tuesday’s edition of Marca had the worry splashed across their front page, and it’s been covered elsewhere too.
Radio Marca this afternoon quoted Spanish journalist David Sánchez as saying:“Can you really imagine the image of Ceferin giving ‘La Orejona’ (the CL trophy) to Florentino Perez? I do not imagine it. Over the dead body of Ceferin.”
The idea is that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin will do anything he can, fair or foul, to stop Real Madrid winning the Champions League this season. It is, of course, ridiculous and says a lot more about those making the claims than the guy who has to be referee tonight… Danny Makkelie.
Josep Pedrerol, the El Chiringuito presenter who you may remember from last week’s toe-curling interview with Perez, has this afternoon said: “Today Ceferin will be wearing Chelsea’s shirt. The refereeing performance at Madrid-Chelsea worries me a lot.”
Makkelie is getting huge attention before the match, with the Spanish media going into his past and his life away from football. The pressure being put on the official is perhaps unmatched, and there’s a reasonable chance he’ll take blame tomorrow if Real Madrid don’t get the result they want tonight.
As UEFA look into the aftermath of the ESL proposals, they should probably also look at this kind of reporting from Spain.