Rio Ferdinand showed a touch of class ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid on Wednesday night, after spotting an issue with BT Sport’s broadcasting set-up ahead of the game.
Before the programme went live, BT pundits were all set to be standing on the Real Madrid badge, a sign of disrespect in Ferdinand’s eyes.
It was a tough night for fellow pundit Joe Cole, as he watched his former side Chelsea slump to a 2-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu.
There were positive signs early on for the Blues, especially when Joao Felix was played through on goal and saw his shot saved by Thibaut Courtois.
Even when Madrid went 1-0 up after Karim Benzema bundled the ball over the line, Chelsea nearly equalized through Raheem Sterling, with Courtois having to make another big save.
But the tide turned in the second half when Ben Chilwell received a red card for pulling Rodrygo back as the Brazilian ran towards the goal, which means the England left-back will miss the second leg next week.
Matters became even more difficult for Chelsea when substitute Marco Asensio fired in a second from the edge of the box.
Frank Lampard’s side will now need at least three goals at Stamford Bridge to progress.
A classy gesture from Ferdinand at the Bernabeu
But ahead of the game last night, anger could have been palpable within the Bernabeu were it not for the keen eye of Ferdinand.
The former Manchester United defender spotted the unfortunate placement of the BT Sport desk and took to Twitter to highlight it.
“I think we need to have a conversation, we need to have a conversation Coley,” Ferdinand says to Joe Cole in a video that he uploaded to the social media platform.
“What are they asking us to do mate?”
Cole then gestures to point the camera down, showing the table is right in front of Real Madrid’s badge on the floor.
“They’re asking us to stand on the badge. You can’t do that man,” Rio continues to say, with Cole describing it as ‘disrespectful’ in the background.
Stepping on club badges has been a talked about topic recently, with footage of Joao Cancelo showing that the defender made a point of walking around Man City’s badge before their match against Bayern Munich.
And Ferdinand also made sure that BT Sport steered clear of any controversy.
“This is where we’re meant to stand with BT here, and the badge is right there,” he says.
“We need to speak to the floor manager, we can’t do that.
“We’re going to roll it up so we’re not standing on the badge.”
“You don’t want to poke the bear on a night like this,” Cole then adds, as Ferdinand calls him scared.
It was a decent point from Cole. And fair play to Rio for his touch of class.
Video: Ferdinand refuses to disrespect Real Madrid by standing on the club’s badge
As it turned out, Madrid were able to bypass Chelsea, even without someone poking the bear.
And after the game, Ferdinand believed that they will be frustrated not to have put the tie to bed.
“They will be disappointed in Real Madrid’s dressing room,” the pundit said, as quoted by Eurosport.
“Yes they’ll be happy they won the game, but tomorrow they’ll wake up and think ‘we could have finished this game and punished this team’.
“They were there for the taking. I thought Chelsea dug in but they were let off a little bit at times. Lacklustre finishing, the final ball and decision making by Real Madrid in the second half might not have been there for them.”
The Spanish giants travel to London for the second leg on Tuesday, April 18, where they will hope to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.