Real Madrid suffer humour failure amid rage at FIFA boss

Pele With Sepp Blatter

Real Madrid have fallen foul of a sense of humour failure, after a poorly considered joke from FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti this afternoon supported the action taken by club president Florentino Perez, who has written to FIFA in complaint over comments made by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Perez's complaint follows a comment from Blatter which has been perceived as derogatory towards Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking to students at a talk with the Oxford Union Society, Blatter, 77, was faced with the question of which player he preferred - Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

Blatter's ultimate answer was, "I like both of them - but I prefer Messi".

The controversy stems from the fact that when referencing Cristiano Ronaldo as "a commander on the field", Blatter rose from his seat to do a comic 'march' on the stage, almost mockingly of the way in which Ronaldo carries himself. This was further demonstrated when, whilst discussing the two players, Blatter joked that "One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other, but that does not matter."

Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid CF has confirmed that he has issued a written letter to Mr. Blatter, requesting a formal apology for his mocking portrayal of the Madrid star, who formerly represented Manchester United.

Ronaldo himself appeared to be furious at the emergence of the footage from the Oxford Union Society, which shows Blatter bumbling his way through the question with various attempts at comedy.

On social networking site Twitter, Ronaldo posted a lengthy tweet, which read: "This video shows clearly the respect and consideration that FIFA has for me, for my club and my country. Much is explained now. I wish Mr Blatter health and a long life, with the certainty that he will continue to witness, as he deserves, the successes of his favourite teams and players."

Whilst Real's Italian manager, Carlo Ancelotti, confirmed that he had not spoken to Ronaldo about the incident, he did admit that he agreed with the actions taken by Florentino Perez in light of recent events.

"I am aware that our president has sent a letter to FIFA," Ancelotti said. "It is a lack of respect for a very serious and very professional player. I am with the president on this."

Whilst the comments may be at worst disrespectful, the ongoing media furore is no good for the media image of any of the involved parties. Ultimately, what has been blown into a media storm was just a poor attempt at humour from an elderly and dictatorial president who was seeking to amuse students in an off-the-cuff discussion.

Better luck next time, Sepp.

image: © World Economic Forum

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