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Conversation between VAR, referee over De Paul incident from Atletico vs Real Madrid leaked: “He steps on him”

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Leaked VAR audios have brought chaos onto the football scene in Spain. What began with the leaks of audios of the arbitration of Los Blancos’ clash against Almeria was soon followed by leaks of El Clasico audio tapes, all accusing Real Madrid of being favoured by referees.

The latest on that list, as revealed by Mundo Deportivo, are the leaked audios from the Merengues’ Copa del Rey elimination against Atletico Madrid. This time, however, the evidence points to a clear moment of confusion between the two parties.

Rodrigo de Paul’s red card

According to the Spanish outlet, Gerard Romero has brought out the discussions between the on-field referee Cuadra Fernández and González Fuertes, the VAR official.

The incident, in particular, is in the 99th minute when Ateti star Rodrigo De Paul stepped on Nacho Fernandez’s toe and saw the defender go down.

“He complains below (Nacho). He steps on him, yes, he steps on him,” the VAR urged the on-field referee after the action.

Fernandez, however, held his ground over his decision and reverted to the VAR saying,

“How is that going to be a card? If he touches the ball clearly. De Paul doesn’t have a card.”

Gonzalez Fuertes immediately responded clarifying that De Paul was indeed on a card that he had seen in the 78th minute.

“He steps on him. And De Paul does have a card,” the VAR told the on-field referee.

“Yes, he has a card, he got it before,” a third person can be heard saying.

An endless saga

Continued VAR leaks will do no good to events of the past, for it is always an easy task to point out mistakes on the bygones.

The aforementioned incident only proves that both on-field referees and VAR officials are normal people at the end of the day and that decisions can always be contested.

The argument of referees favouring Real Madrid will go on for a long time, especially after the leaks from the games against Barcelona and Almeria. Carlo Ancelotti’s focus, thus, will be to isolate his players from the noise in the media and focused on the objective.

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Real Madrid News

Bundesliga title-winner ‘is ready for Real Madrid’, says former German great

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Sport BILD (h/t AS), Germany legend Michael Ballack has claimed that Bayer Leverkusen sensation Florian Wirtz is ready to play for Real Madrid.

Wirtz is a player that Real Madrid have been closely monitoring for a while now, with the German sensation being seen as a long-term replacement for Toni Kroos, who announced his retirement yesterday.

A move for Wirtz is being planned for the summer of 2025 and Ballack believes that the Bundesliga title winner with Leverkusen is ready for the big move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Wirtz is ready for Real Madrid,” said Ballack.

“In terms of football, Wirtz can definitely play for Real Madrid. You can also see it in Jude Bellingham after his move from BVB: when you play with even better players, you become even better,” he added.

The Toni Kroos replacement? (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Wirtz has a contract with Bayer Leverkusen that runs until the summer of 2027. As things stand, the new German champions have no intentions of selling their prized asset this year.

However, there appears to be an acceptance that the German international will be on the move in 2025.

Other top clubs like Manchester City and Bayern Munich are also understood to be interested, but Real Madrid are likely to beat them in the race should it come down to that next year.

A move for Wirtz, though, could cost in excess of €100 million for Real Madrid should they do indeed decide to proceed with his signing next year.

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