Real Madrid defender Marcelo called for election duty, could miss Champions League semifinal

When Real Madrid heads to London next week for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal with Chelsea, defender Marcelo Vieira may be stuck at home in Spain.

Marcelo was randomly selected by the Spanish government for election duty next week, according to El Mundo via The New York Times.

All registered voters in Spain are entered into a drawing, and people are randomly selected to work at the polls for each election — Tuesday’s election is for seats in the Madrid Assembly. Workers are paid about $78 for their service.

Marcelo was born in Brazil, however has been a citizen of Spain for a decade. The 32-year-old is, of course, “very upset by his electoral luck.”

Teammate Victor Chust was also selected for election duty, though he is injured and wasn’t set to play next week anyway.

Can Marcelo get out of election duty?

Spanish law, per the New York Times, does allow for certain exemptions to this law — including for “professionals who must participate in public events to be held on the voting day that are scheduled before the electoral call when the party cannot be replaced and his nonparticipation forces suspension of the event, producing economic damages.”

In theory, that would allow for a soccer player to get out of election duty. Per the report, Levante goalie Aitor Fernandez was granted an exemption in 2019 because the team had a game that same day.

For Marcelo, though, that likely doesn’t apply. The elections are set for Tuesday, and Real Madrid won’t take on Chelsea until Wednesday night. The team is planning to travel to London on Tuesday morning. Due to COVID-19 protocols in place, Marcelo may not be able to logistically make the trek to London and be cleared to play all in the same day.

Real Madrid and Chelsea tied 1-1 in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal on Tuesday. United States star Christian Pulisic became the first American men’s player to score in the Champions League semifinals with his early goal. The winner of Wednesday’s second leg will meet either Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City in the Champions League final next month.

Real Madrid's Marcelo
Marcelo may not be able to get out of working the polls in time for Real Madrid's matchup with Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals next week. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

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