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Barcelona president fires shots at Real Madrid following refereeing controversy vs Almeria: “A shame”

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Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Real Madrid’s 3-2 comeback win over Almeria at the weekend was just the latest on the list of the team’s incredible comebacks this season. The Merengues were made to dig deep for the three points and eventually secured the table-top spot.

The manner of the win, however, raised eyebrows across the globe. Three VAR decisions shaped the game, all of which went in Los Blancos’ favour leaving Almeria players and fans calling foul play at full-time.

Joan Laporta adds to the conversation

Real Madrid’s late win at Santiago Bernabeu may have been largely undeserved, but all that matters in football is that the Merengues put the ball into the goal thrice compared to Almeria’s two. Several prominent names have come out to accuse the refereeing of partiality, and the latest on that bandwagon is Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

“What happened at the Bernabéu yesterday was a shame,” the Spanish businessman said in a recent interview via Mundo Deportivo when asked about the refereeing in the Real Madrid game.

“I think that the arbitration collective has to respond to a series of pressures that have occurred throughout the season with the referees. If they don’t give an answer, they leave us very restless, because we understand that there is an abandonment of functions,” he added.

This not only comes across as ironic, but also unwarranted as the president himself is buried neck-deep in politics surrounding bribing the referees. As one of the biggest names involved in the Negreira scandal, his condemnation of Real Madrid’s result is debatable.

Xavi’s open declaration

While Laporta’s statements carry significant weight, he is not the only prominent figure in Barcelona to openly talk about Real Madrid’s VAR fiasco against Almeria.

Speaking to the press conference after the Blaugranas’ 4-2 win over Real Betis, Xavi Hernandez did not hold back as he called the league ‘difficult’ to win with such officiating.

“If we speak up they sanction us, but everyone has seen it. It’s going to be very difficult to win this league, I said in Getafe, that there were things that didn’t suit me.”

“There are things that we don’t control, everyone has seen it today. I remember in Getafe, the penalty in Vallecas against Raphinha, Joao’s goal in Granada. These are situations in that we would take six more points. In the end, they are not excuses, it is the reality,” he added on the moments his side had been let down by VAR.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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