Unexpected trick explains strange green stains on Real Madrid kit during El Clasico
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Real Madrid and Barcelona played out a typically ill-tempered Clasico in Texas on Saturday, but what surprised fans were the strange green stains that appeared on the Los Blancos kits.
Everyone knows that no meeting between the two Spanish rivals can never really be described as a friendly.
That was certainly the case in Texas when Barca saw off Real Madrid 3-0.
Ousmane Dembele, Fermin Lopez and Ferran Torres scored the goals, but the match was punctuated by crunching tackles and on-field squabbles.
Just before half-time the two sets of players came together in a furious altercation, with Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger going into the book despite not even being on the pitch.
That kind of thing is par for the cause in El Clasico, but what isn't expected when two of the world's biggest clubs meet is a wardrobe malfunction.
Towards the end of the first half the crisp white shirts of Real Madrid were looking anything but, with the likes of Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Junior sporting massive light green stains on the backs of their shirts.
Grass stains are one thing, but the Los Blancos stars looked like they'd been dunked in a vat of radioactive green custard, typical of school canteens in the UK.
The explanation appears to be a little less far-fetched than that: the grounds staff painted the pitch before kick-off.
The playing surface at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was incredibly dry, with daytime temperatures this week topping 40 degrees celsius.
That left the playing surface covered with brown dry patches which were simply painted over to create a better aesthetic.
A similar thing happened at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which resulted in green stains appearing on the white shirts of England players.
While stained kits aren't a major issue, injuries to players are. Three players - Andreas Christensen and Ilkay Gundogan of Barca and Ferland Mendy of Real Madrid - were substituted before half-time with minor injuries.
Dry pitches are more likely to cause injury than wet, but it remains to be seen how long those players will be out of action.