Real Madrid continued its reign as the kings of European soccer on Tuesday with a narrow Champions League semifinal victory over Bayern Munich. It also continued its reign as the most despised team in Europe.
Madrid has been accused of benefitting from luck. It has been the subject of referee conspiracy theories after it appeared to be aided by a controversial (non-)call for the second round in a row. Its marvelous, ingrained arrogance has amplified feelings of disdain and frustration around the world.
And not just among fans. Among opposing players, apparently, as well.
Many of Bayern’s stars probably fumed internally after dominating both legs of the semifinal tie but falling 4-3. Two, however, couldn’t help but speak out.
Center back Jerome Boateng – injured during the first leg, and subsequently unavailable for the second – took to Twitter to complain about a possible handball on Marcelo:
— Jerome Boateng (@JB17Official) May 1, 2018
The call was debatable, given the close proximity of Marcelo to Joshua Kimmich, the crosser of the ball. But Real’s Brazilian fullback later admitted that it probably should have been a penalty.
Boateng’s response, though, was measured compared to that of Arturo Vidal. The Chilean midfielder was watching from home after a serious knee injury last month ruled him out for the season. He reacted to the Marcelo non-call on Instagram with two words and 17 angry face emojis:
Arturo not holding back tonight….. pic.twitter.com/LvhJZIt9Ts
— Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) May 1, 2018
“Otra vez!!!” is Spanish for “Again!!!”
“Penal mierdaaaa” either translates to “criminal s—” or “penalty s—” – “penal” is sometimes used as a slang term for a penalty kick.
Either way, Vidal was clearly not happy, and not reticent when it came to his unhappiness. At the final whistle, he posted a picture of Madrid players celebrating on his TV with the caption, “Ratonessss,” which quite simply translates to “rats.” And he was back with the emojis again.
Boateng and Vidal were basically speaking for millions of soccer fans around the globe. Madrid’s repetitive Champions League success isn’t just drowning fellow superclubs in disappointment; it’s becoming infuriating. Los Blancos are one win away from an unprecedented fourth continental title in five years. They won’t let anybody else win. And as a result, opponents can’t stand them.
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