Dani Alves has suggested that pressure put on referees, including that from the likes of Jose Mourinho, is affecting their performances.
The Brazilian has complained that Wolfgang Stark’s performance yesterday in Barcelona’s 2-2 Champions League quarter-final first leg draw with Paris Saint-Germain was the result of undue pressure.
PSG’s first equaliser on the night came from an offside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“When the referee is pressured a lot, it conditions things. You have to stop talking about them because they should have a low profile, when they are protagonists it is bad,” Alves told reporters today.
The full-back was asked if he was alluding to the pressure Stark came under from Madrid boss Mourinho two years ago, after the referee sent off Pepe during a Champions League semi-final against Barca.
“Yes. But let us not talk about the referees, because football is at the end about the players.
“When they are an important part of the game then it is because they have done something wrong, but we are not complaining, just pointing out that the decisions made have determined the outcome.
“We are allowed to have an opinion, like most people who are free to do so. We are left a little more upset in that aspect because at the end we are left looking foolish and that is not very good.
“What do I mean? It turns out that we cannot complain. We live in a very competitive world and you have to compete outside of the field too.
“People on the outside have to change things. We cannot go out and protest because we are labelled as obsessed, even if we concede a goal that is two metres offside…
“The protests ultimately affect the referee. They begin to think that if they whistle for something they may be frowned upon by the Coaches.”
Alves then turned his attention to yesterday’s result, which was tempered by a last-gasp equaliser from Blaise Matuidi.
“We are pretty happy with the result, but it was bittersweet for the end of the game as we could have gotten something better. We are pleased with how we competed, how we did things.
“Obviously I’m much more pleased compared with previous knockout games played. It was a great game of football, but in the end it is what needs to be when this is the Champions League.
“The injuries? I think it is a shame. These are things we do not like to have happen to us, because they are to people who are very important to us.
“It is clear that absences are always important, no matter the name, but we have qualified people to do their work.
“Would I play at centre-back with no Mascherano and no Puyol? I’ve played there under Guardiola, when we played with three defenders. I will try to adapt to whatever is asked of me. I will be available.”