Some teams and players can make a friendly match look like something a lot more serious, as Seydou Keita not shaking hands with Pepe just before the start of the AS Roma vs Real Madrid exhibition match resulted in something of a scuffle on the pitch, which included the Malian midfielder nearly hitting the Portuguese centre back with a water bottle.
Now, why did this happen? There are two versions currently running around. The fourth official, the only one pointing this out at the moment, has said that Pepe spat at Seydou Keita after not getting the handshake from him. We can also see Keita mimicking that action as he is talking to one of the Real Madrid players when things got a little heated up.
And why didn’t Keita shake his hands to begin with? Pepe has done a thing wrong once or twice in his career, especially against Barcelona. When you’re trying to injure a player instead of just stopping him, you’re bound to gather yourself a band of haters. Pepe has allegedly referred to Keita as a monkey in the past, which had Keita going into this encounter fired up, even if it’s no longer part of the Barcelona – Real Madrid rivalry.
Roma won the match from a Francesco Totti goal, the only one in the contest. And I kept thinking about Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso, who constantly have to get into fights and arguments because of one problematic teammate, who often deserves the way he’s treated, although having a water bottle tossed at him is going a bit too far.