Emilio Butragueño speaks out against VAR after Real Madrid’s 4-1 defeat at Valencia

Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueño has spoken out in criticism against the decisions taken by VAR and referee Gil Manzano during Valencia’s 4-1 defeat of Real Madrid at Mestalla on Sunday evening.

Karim Benzema gave Madrid an early lead before Valencia fought back in some style through three penalties and an own goal. Carlos Soler got the hosts back on level terms through a 35th minute penalty before Raphaël Varane made it 2-1 with an own goal just before half-time.

Soler then scored a second penalty in the 54th minute before adding a third in the 63rd – the result was quite a coup for Valencia given the institutional instability that has plagued them off the field in recent times. For Madrid, it’s a serious blow in a season that has already offered them so much disappointment.

“The game didn’t start badly,” Butragueño told Movistar+ as reported by Marca. “The first half was ours and we were comfortable, ahead on the scoreboard. But then there was a rough play regarding the first penalty and for the second goal VAR intervened.

“We understand that it’s there to intervene, but if they had seen the play from the very beginning they should have noticed a foul on Marco Asensio in the buildup. In the second half came another penalty when – and this is a personal opinion – I thought they were going to call the foul in our favour. They saw it differently and it complicated the game, even more so when you consider the accident that gave away the next penalty. It was a shame because we had been well on track.”

Butragueño didn’t want to discuss the tactical decisions taken by coach Zinedine Zidane, but did reveal an injury update on Benzema. “Those are technical issues that we should not go into. Zizou must make decisions, but he has a high-class squad.

“It seems [Benzema] has a small muscle complaint, but we hope it isn’t serious. We have two weeks clear with the international break for him to recover – we’re confident he can return in time for the next game.”

Butragueño was born and raised in Madrid and spent the vast majority of his career at the Santiago Bernabéu save for a brief swansong in Mexico. He won six LaLiga titles, two Copa Del Reys, one Copa de la Liga, four Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Cups and one Copa Iberoamericana, and earned 69 caps for Spain.

Butragueño returned to Madrid as Director of Football in 2004, replacing former teammate Jorge Valdano. He’s also served as vice-president and has been involved at the Bernabéu ever since.

Featured image courtesy of Managing Madrid.

Tags Emilio Butragueno LaLiga Real Madrid Valencia VAR