With a couple of early goals on the scoreboard after half an hour of play, the Barcelona faithful were sitting happily in their seats and giving some fantastic vocal support. They were singing their hearts out, but not for the obvious reasons such as their world class team, their success, or even suggesting old Gary Neville would be getting sacked in the morning.
Instead they were chanting for a player sitting on the Los Che bench, Denis Cheryshev, a player recently brought in on loan from Real Madrid. It’s not often a Real Madrid man gets greeted by more than a chorus of boos and hisses at Camp Nou, but the Russian winger was in for some special treatment, that he most probably did not expect.
‘Bring on Cheryshev’ and ‘We love you Cheryshev,’ screamed the majority of the 60,000 plus fans, and the stadium erupted when he finally took off his bib and came on for his second club in the Copa Del Rey this season, only this time legally. Denis Cheryshev was, of course, the man whose introduction by Rafa Benitez during the game (where Real swept aside Cadiz) got Madrid eliminated from the tournament back in December, by playing while still suspended from the previous year’s competition. His entrance caused a cheer from the Barcelona's supporters that was louder than for any of their teams seven beautifully crafted goals.
It wasn’t his fault, but he will always be reminded of it wherever he goes, and especially if he’s playing against Madrid’s arch-rivals, Barcelona. In Barcelona he will be seen as a hero, but it remains to be seen if Madrid welcome him with open arms and blame only Benitez, or if he becomes the face of a disappointing season for the Madrid fans.
The moment when Barca fans gave Cheryshev a standing ovation for getting Real Madrid kicked out the Copa Del Rey 😂 pic.twitter.com/5wNCpZgxkQ— Danny (@R9Rai) February 3, 2016