December 13, (THEWILL) – Real Madrid is furious after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw went awry on Monday, with a match against Benfica being replaced by a match against PSG in a bewildering redraw.
As THEWILL reported, Real was initially drawn against the Eagles in the first round, but UEFA had to redo the draw after a mistake. The error consisted of Manchester United’s ball being drawn incorrectly and then not replaced.
Los Blancos objected to the results of the redraw, claiming that their match against Benfica should not have been rescheduled.
UEFA however rejected the protests, claiming that the “software error” was still present when Real came out of the pot in the initial draw. The whole fixtures were redone, and the La Liga giants were drawn against PSG instead.
Prior to the redraw, Real sources branded the situation as a “scandal,” believing that the Benfica tie should have been allowed to stand. Florentino Perez, the club’s president, called UEFA to try to protect the match, but his protests were ignored.
According to club Director Emilio Butragueno: “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 match between Real and PSG is full of intriguing expectations, one of which is around Kylian Mbappe, who intends to leave PSG next summer and join Real at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, PSG’s Keylor Navas, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, and Angel Di Maria will all have the opportunity to face their previous club just as Lionel Messi will be meeting familiar foes in Los Blancos.