Thomas Tuchel has been chastised for his comments criticizing referee Szymon Marciniak during Chelsea’s Champions League loss to Real Madrid. The Blues leader had questioned why he had observed Marciniak allegedly laughing with Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, but has now been chastised by Rafael van der Vaart for his accusations.
“I value respect. If you win, respect your opponent; if you lose, respect is even more wonderful. Carlo Ancelotti, for example, never makes a mistake. “Never,” Van der Vaart said to Dutch television station Ziggo Sport.
“But then you see this dragon [beastly, enraged individual]… I can only describe it as a dragon! If I had been Tuchel’s assistant, I would have told him, ‘We all lose sometimes, but we do it with style.’ Chelsea had a wonderful game, and they have an excellent coach.
“I am very certain about that.” But if you lose and then do this interview… that’s what irritates me. So, what should Ancelotti do? Cry? [Tuchel] is regarded as one of the top coaches in the world.
“Well, not right now. This just comes across as awful. This isn’t something you should say. As a coach, you should simply express your pride in your team. It makes no difference whether a referee smiles or not.”
Tuchel’s team had staged an incredible comeback to overcome a two-goal deficit from the first leg and grab the lead in the tie. However, a late equalizer from Rodrygo forced extra time, during which Karim Benzema headed in the winner for Los Blancos.
After the game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expressed his displeasure at seeing Marciniak smiling with Ancelotti. And the German chastised the referee for his ‘nice time’ with the Real Madrid manager.
“I was saddened to see the referee having fun with my colleague Ancelotti.” I know Carlo is a gentleman and a wonderful guy, and when I go, I see him smiling and laughing out loud with the other coach, and I believe it’s a terrible idea to do this at the end of a 120-minute battle. “I think this is extremely unfortunate timing,” Tuchel remarked.