in England the conspiracy theory -

in England the conspiracy theory -

Of Salvatore Riggio

The anger of the newspapers and fans in England: "This draw is rigged, it is not possible to find Real Madrid and City in the same half of the draw"; «Real against Chelsea for the third year, it's strange», «The most controlled draw in history»

The draws for the Champions League didn't really appeal to everyone. The conspiracy theory is spreading throughout Europe and the spark has flared up across the Channel, in England. In essence, the detractors argue that UEFA, in Nyon, piloted the draw by putting the strongest four to one side - and of these the three super favorites at the start of the tournament, namely Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich - and from the other four – Benfica, Inter, Milan and Napoli – who therefore each have a 25% chance of reaching the final in Istanbul on 10 June next.

«This draw is rigged, it is not possible to find Real and City in the same half of the draw», we read in the numerous furious comments from Chelsea and Citizens fans on Twitter, who will have a very complicated road to get to a hypothetical final. For the Blues it is also the third match against Real Madrid in a row: in 2021 they won in the semifinals, while last season they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

"Real Madrid vs Chelsea three years in a row, it's strange," we read. Or again: "The most piloted draw in history" and "I've never seen something like this in my entire life". Finally: «They paved the way for Napoli to reach the final». Of course none of the furious users have proof of such a thing. And it must also be said that they underestimate the strength of a team like Benfica, who managed to get into the group ahead of PSG and Juventus.

In England they evidently dreamed of a final between Manchester City and Real Madrid or the Citizens again against Chelsea, the remake of the 2021 final won by the Blues. Not only. Because in England they also suffer from the fact that Italy with three out of four teams in the same part of the draw has a 75% chance of reaching the final. And certainly one between Stefano Pioli's Milan and Luciano Spalletti's Naples will be in the semifinals: "Really scandalous what happened in Nyon," writes another user complete with photos of the Champions League draw, which most of them know by heart by now.

As it was said, the spark of the conspiracy theory flared up in Englandwhich Italian football continues to suffer and not only for the Wembley ko in July 2021 in the last act of the European Championships, and has reached as far as Spain. Brand, a sports daily, says that «Inter-Benfica and Milan-Naples are an opportunity to make history from the “weak side” of the draw». The protests evidently testify to a basic distrust of UEFA and its president Alexander Ceferin, re-elected president of the highest continental body only a month ago, even if no one explains why Ceferin should want to favor Italy given that even here we do not enjoy of the peak of popularity. But in three weeks the pitch will do the talking: Benfica, Inter, Milan and Napoli will have the task of making everyone change their mind. Who knows if it will be one of the four of them to lift the Champions League to the sky. Taking a good revenge against those who cry conspiracy.

March 17, 2023 (change March 17, 2023 | 20:41)

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