They may have come away from the Camp Nou with a 3-1 victory last Sunday, but Real Madrid were unhappy with the refereeing of that match and they expressed their disgruntlement to the Spanish FA during the meal before Wednesday’s second leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu – which they went on to win 2-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo had been sent off in that first leg and was then handed an additional four-match ban for shoving referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea, which was upheld by the Competition Committee after Los Blancos had appealed.
Furthermore, it was revealed on Wednesday that
Zinedine Zidane could face a fine for criticising the initial sanction, further enraging the Real Madrid directors.
Juan Luis Larrea, the acting president of the Spanish FA, was in attendance at the pre-match meal, along with other federation directors, and members of the Real hierarchy spoke to them about what they feel is unfair treatment, conveying direct and clear messages.
There was even the suggestion that De Burgos Bengoetxea shouldn’t referee at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for some time.
The club and the country’s federation have had a rocky relationship for a while, although there appeared to be something of a reconciliation when Los Blancos agreed to host a World Cup qualifier – next month’s game against Italy – at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, after Spain had not played at the stadium for years.
Yet the refereeing of last Sunday night and Ronaldo’s sanction led to a tense Wednesday evening dinner.