Celtic fans have been accused of leaving a historic landmark in Madrid resembling a rubbish dump after complaints flooded in the wake of their comprehensive 5-1 Champions League thrashing at the hands of the reigning European champions.
An estimated 10,000 Hoops supporters travelled to the Spanish capital earlier this week ahead of their match against Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the Santiago Bernabeu.
Thousands gathered at the Plaza Mayor - a major public square in the heart of the city centre - in the run-up to last night’s match carrying cans of beer that had been purchased from nearby supermarkets and convenience stores.
Despite there being no reports of any major public order problems, the rubbish appeared to have made a lasting impression, with locals describing the scene left behind by visiting fans as “terrible.”
Spanish TV reporter Alberto Catalan labelled the square as a “pigsty” in a video uploaded on social media, while diplomat Juan Manuel Molina told local politicians to hang their heads in shame for allowing “drunken tourism” to take over one of the city’s most famous monuments.
Another Madrid-based journalist, Juan Ignacio Barrero, posted footage of leftover lager cans, plastic bags and empty glasses littered across the floor of the square. His tweet translated into English read: “Let’s just say that our Celtic friends didn’t leave the Plaza Mayor looking very nice.”
Regional TV broadcaster Telemadrid blamed supporters for abandoning a ‘crime scene’ by leaving several items and other “organic residue resulting from the vast consumption of beer and alcohol, with its unmistakable smell.”
It comes after Madrid’s Municipal Police were involved in several altercations with a group of Celtic fans 24 hours earlier in the Matheu passage located close to the Puerta del Sol.
Fans are understood to have congregated in various bars and were in good spirits until local authorities responded to incidents related to the payment of drinks, leading to both parties becoming embroiled in clashes.
Footage emerged on social media of Spanish police armed with riot shields and batons pushing Celtic supporters away from their pub tables before charging towards them up a narrow street. Glass bottles were thrown, with one fan appearing to throw a pint which struck an officer on the helmet.
Kieran Elliot, a Celtic fan from Wishaw who watched the violence unfold, told GlasgowWorld: “We were sitting down the street from the Irish bars in Madrid (O’Connell & O’Reilly’s) when we saw the police begin to kettle around the bars. Any Celtic fans going on an away day in Europe can expect trouble around Irish bars.
“In all honesty, if you don’t wear Celtic colours, you’ll probably be fine - it feels like Police target Celtic fans. It’s just wrong, honestly it’s mental.”