Sunday’s feisty encounter between Real Madrid and Levante, which Los Blancos won 2-1 in torrential rain, was also full of incident after the final whistle. Levante’s Juanfran claimed that Real defender Pepe mocked his team at full time, and “Al Primer Toque”, a Spanish TV program, alleged that Levante player Sergio Ballesteros grabbed and punched Pepe in the room where teammate Cristiano Ronaldo was receiving medical attention for the elbow he received to the face from David Navarro.
Following the controversial victory, Real issued a statement denying the accusations made by Levante’s players, claiming that the behavior of its players was “exemplary” during “a match held in extreme conditions for playing soccer and that our team was able to overcome with professionalism, dedication and sportsmanship.” After the game, the behavior of Real players and coaches “was at all times correct and blameless,” and Pepe in particular “always had an exemplary attitude on the same line as the rest of his teammates.”
According to Juanfran, that couldn’t be further from the truth. “Before we went in the locker room I saw Pepe coming off the field dancing, laughing and mocking us,” he said. “Everybody saw it, the security men, police, his own team, all of us.” He added that the fight between Pepe and Ballesteros was so bad that “the police and stadium security were called and they separated the pair and made sure we went into the locker rooms.”