Real Madrid have been left fuming over the Champions League last-16 draw chaos on Monday, having seen a tie with Benfica replaced by a meeting with PSG.
The first draw saw Real pitted against the Eagles before a mistake – Manchester United’s name was drawn incorrectly and then not replaced – forced UEFA to redo the draw. Los Blancos argued against the re-run, demanding that their fixture against Benfica remain untouched.
UEFA ignored those pleas, instead stating that the ‘software error’ was still there when Real came out of the pot in the first draw. The whole thing was done again, and the La Liga side ended up drawing PSG instead.
Before the redraw, Goal cited sources within Real who described the whole thing as a ‘scandal’, arguing that the Benfica tie should have been allowed to stand. Club president Florentino Perez spoke to UEFA to try and protect that match, but his protests went unheard.
Club director Emilio Butragueno told Real Madrid TV: “[The decision was] surprising, regrettable and very hard to understand, when you take into account the millions of fans who were following the draw.
“Having said that, we go into this tie with a lot of excitement. We’re aware of what this competition means for the club and the fans. We’re also aware of the difficulties, with the quality of players [PSG] have. We believe the team will play two great games. They’ll be fantastic for football.”
A meeting between Real and PSG throws up plenty of fascinating storylines, one of which revolves around Kylian Mbappe, who hopes to quit the French side and head to the Santiago Bernabeu next summer.
PSG stars Keylor Navas, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Angel Di Maria will all get the chance to come up against their former side as well.