Spain's newspapers fume at UEFA 'cheating' in Real Madrid's PSG draw

‘Shame!’: Spain’s newspapers fume at UEFA ‘cheating’ by handing Real Madrid a tough tie with PSG in the re-drawn Champions League last-16, with the Super League plotters ‘declaring total war’ over the ‘scandal’ of missing out on playing Benfica

  • UEFA made a mistake in their initial Champions League last-16 draw on Monday
  • The error prompted a re-draw which saw Real Madrid paired with giants PSG
  • Real were initially given Benfica in the first draw but now have a tougher tie
  • Spanish media say Real Madrid believe that UEFA were ‘cheating’ in the draw
  • Real reportedly claim UEFA are getting payback for the European Super League

Spanish newspapers have hit out at ‘shameful’ UEFA for their controversial Champions League last-16 draw that paired Real Madrid with Paris Saint-Germain – after initially giving them an easier challenge of Benfica. 

Monday’s controversial draw saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side initially given Portuguese club Benfica but a mistake later on in the draw – which saw Manchester United failed to be included in the pot to face Atletico Madrid – led to a re-draw.

Real were then paired with French giants PSG, after the initial draw was declared void, which Spanish media believe is UEFA getting payback on the LaLiga giants for their role in the controversial European Super League project earlier this year.

Spanish newspapers have hit out at UEFA ‘cheating’ by giving Real Madrid the challenge of PSG after their controversial Champions League draw

Real were handed Kylian Mbappe’s PSG after the first draw was declared void after an error

Real were initially given Benfica in the initial draw but it was declared void after a mistake

Newspaper Marca has used the word ‘Shame’ on Tuesday morning’s front page, to describe UEFA’s error in making the draw.  

The report adds while Real Madrid’s Director of International Relations Emilio Butragueno used the words ‘regrettable’ and ‘surprising’ in his public statement about Monday’s controversy – he actually believes UEFA are ‘cheating’ through an ‘inadmissible scandal’.

Marca also say there is now ‘total war’ between UEFA and Real, which stemmed from club president Florentino Perez’s decision to co-found the controversial Super League project that stunned football April.

Real, Barcelona and Juventus are the only three teams to denounce the project after nine clubs – including the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ – all pulled out following backlash from fans and the rest of the football community. 

Marca claims Real believe UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin (right) is getting back at the club for Florentino Perez’s (left) Super League idea

And Marca believe UEFA are trying to get even on Real after Perez refused to take them out of the project, even though Juventus avoided a big club after being paired against Sporting Lisbon, then Spanish side Villarreal in the second draw. 

Barcelona did not make it through to the Champions League knockout stages but were handed their most difficult option in the Monday’s Europa League draw by being paired with Serie A title challengers Napoli.  

Elsewhere in Spain, AS and SPORT described UEFA’s controversial Champions League draw as a ‘bombshell’ due to the difficulty of Real Madrid’s match.

Other Spanish papers described Real’s Champions League draw with PSG as a ‘bombshell’

Los Blancos will face the challenge of front three Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – with the latter taking on the club that he nearly joined over the summer.

Real president Perez submitted two offers of £137million and £154m for French forward Mbappe, with PSG refusing to entertain any bids for the 22-year-old.

But Mbappe then revealed – in two explosive interviews with French media after the transfer window closed – that he wants to join Real next season. The 2018 World Cup winner’s contract expires at the end of this season. 

The PSG vs Real Madrid Champions League draw will also see former Barcelona captain Messi come up against his former El Clasico rivals, while Sergio Ramos will face the club he spent 16 years with before his free transfer to Paris this year. 

Sergio Ramos (left) will return to Real Madrid – the club Mbappe (right) wants to join in 2022

The 35-year-old appeared at the opening of a gym in Madrid hours after the draw was confirmed and was immediately quizzed on his emotions over a return to the Bernabeu. His answer showed he was in a bullish mood over facing his former club.

‘I am going to die for PSG in the game against Real Madrid,’ said the former Real captain, according to Marca.

‘Fate is capricious. I would have liked another team to have played us. You know the affection and love I have for Real Madrid. Now it’s my turn to defend PSG and I’ll do everything possible to pass. It’s the team that bet on me.’

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