Iker Casillas has called Barcelona’s Champions League triumph over Chelsea in 2009 as “one of the worst thefts in football.
We can clearly see that the Liga heavyweights paid Enriquez Negreira – the former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees – a total of €1.4 million between 2016 and 2018. Barcelona maintains that they breached no laws and were not looking for an edge with such transactions, but ex-Madrid goalkeeper Casillas is not sure that the Clasico giants were not buying favor with match officials from Camp Nou.
Casillas overheard former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique remark of the Negreira saga: “I’ll tell you one thing: if we let the cat out of the bag, we look at UEFA and the Champions League and there Real Madrid’s [name] pops up…. all over the place.”
Casillas answered by recalling Barcelona’s notorious Champions League semi-final victory over Chelsea in 2008-09, in which Pep Guardiola’s team took advantage of a number of controversial refereeing decisions to secure a second-leg tie at Stamford Bridge and continue on away goals.
“All you people have to do is be silent,” Casillas replied. That was one of the largest thefts in football history.”
Pique continues, claiming that Barcelona was once denied the La Liga championship by a goal against Atletico Madrid that should have been let to stand. Iker Casillas counters, noting that Real also suffered from several questionable calls in critical league and cup matches.
Barcelona presently leads Real Madrid by eight points in the 2022-23 championship race, with both teams vying for additional success in European play and the Cup del Rey.