Real Madrid are upset with the restaged Champions League last-16 draw and are making this the latest battleground in their ongoing war with UEFA.
Los Blancos were originally drawn to play Benfica before the draw had to be done over and they were paired with Paris Saint-Germain. From a relatively favourable draw, with due respect to the club currently third in the Liga Portugal Bwin, to a tie against old foe Lionel Messi, transfer target Kylian Mbappe and the rest of their well-paid teammates, the frustration at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is understandable if not justified.
In recent years, since the Parisian club’s rise to becoming one of the wealthiest sports organisations on the planet, bankrolled by Qatar, and especially since the tug of war over Mbappe, a fierce rivalry has developed between Real Madrid and PSG – old money versus new, a traditional European powerhouse against a new pretender.
Not only, then, have Real Madrid got a tougher draw than initially, but the combination of UEFA and their allies PSG rubs salt into the wound. This stirs up many previous disagreements, including Real Madrid‘s perception that UEFA‘s loosened Financial Fair Play rules to benefit PSG.
Super League not forgotten
For UEFA, the French club’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is an ally against Florentino Perez and his European Super League plans. PSG at the time were in favour of kicking Real Madrid out of the Champions League ahead of Los Blancos‘ tie with Chelsea.
After logging heads many times off the pitch, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will get the chance to fight it out on the turf. Although, Los Blancos argued that their first draw of a tie against Benfica should have been allowed to stand as they claim it did not affect the rest of the draw.
Behind closed doors, Real Madrid are said to be even more furious than they are revealing publicly, with terms like ‘scandal’ and ‘disgrace’ being bandied about. This may be the latest chapter in Real Madrid‘s war with UEFA, but it won’t be the last in the story.