Lots of rumors are swirling about the fight between David Villa and Mesut Ozil during last night’s second leg of the Supercopa de EspaÃ±a, with several purportedly “official” Twitter handles for Real Madrid and Mesut Ozil declaring that the altercation was caused by Villa’s insulting remarks about Ozil’s Islamic faith.
The social networking sites Tumblr and Twitter were awash with a statement from Ozil’s “official” Twitter handle that stated:
Alot of you are asking what happend between me and David. Racist words were said to me and my reaction was because of those words.
Another Twitter handle, Real Madrid C.F. News (which claims to be the official Twitter account for news about Real Madrid) followed up on that tweet by saying:
Mesut Ã–zil Real Madrid player”villa said an offensive words about my religion (Islam) that’s why I looked upset and tried to hit him”
Spanish sports newspaper AS ran a short piece with the headline “Mesut Ozil: David Villa Insulted My Religion” and the story gained legs.
Many fans were curious about the accuracy of those statements, especially as Mesut Ozil (a German of Turkish descent) speaks very little Spanish, and Villa, a Spanish player, isn’t thought to speak German (or English for that matter). So how would Ozil have known what David Villa was saying, even if he had been using racist insults? Furthermore, would Villa dare to make such remarks at all, considering that several of his own teammates are Muslims?
Both Villa and Ozil were shown red cards and ejected from the game, which Barcelona won 3Â–2 (5Â–4 on aggregate).
So what actually happened?
The Spanish television channel Cuatro came to the rescue with a video of the fight between Villa and Ozil which sheds light on what really occurred. It appears that during the fracas caused by Marcelo (Real Madrid) fouling Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Ozil attempted to make his way through the mess of players who were brawling. He moved past several of his own teammates and a few Barcelona players, but David Villa took his gentle push of Victor Valdes wrong and tried to pull him back, at which point Ozil gestured as if to say “Relax.” Villa took the gesture negatively and slapped Ozil on the face, and Ozil reacted by attempting to go after David Villa, at which point his own teammates held him back and further fighting ensued between the teams.
At no point does Ozil stomp on Cesc Fabregas (as some outlets have reported, and which was the explanation for Ozil’s red card) and at no point does Villa speak negatively to Ozil, about religion or otherwise.
Looks like the tabloids got way out of control with this story, aided by some overzealous Twitter users who spread an unsubstantiated rumor so far that the story about Ozil, Villa, and Islam became bigger than the game itself.