[ESPN] - Real Madrid are furious with UEFA over their "shameful" handling of the Champions League round-of-16 draw, sources told ESPN, with the club accusing European football's governing body of "lying" over the problems that led to the process being repeated.
Madrid were initially paired with Benfica on Monday before the first draw was declared void after errors were spotted in the ways potential opponents were selected for fellow LaLiga sides Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.
"It is a lie that it was a software error," a club source told ESPN. "It is human error, beginning with the second pairing. Our pairing [Real Madrid-Benfica] was legal."
So today we had the drawing for the Champions League round of 16. Pretty important! And hey, look what we originally got:
Ronaldo vs Messi. That's how you get numbers. Except, oh, just one little problem. (h/t CBS)
What went wrong?
PSG and United were drawn together but the Red Devils were initially drawn to face group opponents Villarreal (who were ineligible after they played each other in the group stage already) before being replaced by rivals Manchester City who now have Sporting CP.
Paris Saint-Germain will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last 16 after the draw was redone due to an earlier error. After mistakenly drawing Manchester United against fellow group survivors Villarreal in the first draw (and then failing to replace United when the initial error was corrected) UEFA opted to redo the entire draw -- despite Real initially drawing SL Benfica.
How….how does that happen? We're talking about the biggest club soccer event in the world. We're talking about something simple of putting certain teams in certain pods and just drawing names. It's something that a 16-year old could do. I might even be a little nice there, pretty sure I could figure this out at like 8. You can't play a team from your group, group winners draw runner-ups. Pretty basic here.
How about Real Madrid though? Just flat out calling UEFA liars. Not exactly a dirty secret that people think UEFA and FIFA are corrupt and do shit like this. It just makes no sense. You either have to be cheating or dumb to screw this up, so which one is it? This would be like the NCAA Tournament not following their rules. Imagine the freak out but multiply it by a million because European soccer fans are batshit crazy. That's before you even throw in the fact that UEFA had it out for Real Madrid with the whole Super League thing. (h/t ESPN)
But Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are refusing to giving up on the largely closed breakaway competition to launch a rival to the Champions League, prolonging the rift with UEFA and their European counterparts.
Despite lacking the backing of their biggest European counterparts, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are still pursuing legal action to challenge what they called "UEFA's monopolistic position over European football."
Hey, I can't blame Real Madrid. I don't care if there was a mistake, I'd be pissed if all of a sudden I had to play PSG. Only European soccer man.