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Champions League

The Wolfsburg-Madrid referee hurt Real in 2012/13

Gianluca Rocchi angered Real Madrid in a 2012/13 Champions League match when he ignored a Real penalty, but gave one to Manchester City.


Real Madrid don’t have fond memories of the last time Gianluca Rocchi, the referee assigned to Wednesday’s clash with Wolfsburg, took charge of one of their matches. It was in a group stage match against Manchester City on November 21 2012.

Los Blancos felt very hard done by as the Italian didn’t see a clear penalty on Cristiano Ronaldo, but did give a dubious one against Álvaro Arbeloa and dismissed the Real Madrid defender. Real Madrid’s fury was monumental and Mourinho, the coach at the time, did hold back. “I have to stay calm as I have a UEFA suspension hanging over me,” he said after the match. Iker Casillas, however, did not hold back, telling the Press that, “the referee’s decision-making has hurt us.”

There were two main moments of controversy in that match, which finished 1-1. Firstly, Ronaldo looked for a penalty in the 65th minute, but it wasn’t given. Just a little later the second, and biggest, moment of controversy arrived when Arbeloa and Sergio Agüero tussled in the area and Rocchi signaled for a very dubious penalty, which Real Madrid felt was unfair. The incident brought about the dismissal of Arbeloa for a second yellow as well as the match’s equalsier.

Before that, Real Madrid had already been upset at what they perceived as too much favoring of the home team throughout the whole match. Gianluca Rocchi has not officiated a Real Madrid match since that day. Now, three and a half years later, Rocchi and Real Madrid will meet again.


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