Denis Cherysev plays for Real Madrid, albeit rarely. Last season, he was on loan at Villarreal.
During last season's Copa del Rey competition, Cherysev picked up too many yellow cards and in the last match of his team's cup run, he was suspended for one match.
Under Copa del Rey rules, suspensions carry over both from season to season and from team to team. So, that means that even though Cherysev earned his suspension last season playing for a different team, it still applied to this season's cup with Real Madrid.
Rafa Benitez apparently wasn't aware of this rule, and it could cost Madrid quite a bit.
As in, they could be expelled from the competition for playing a suspended player in a cup match.
Manager Rafa Benitez is under plenty of fire already for his team's rocky form, especially their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona just two weeks ago.
This does not bode well for his future at Madrid.
Six points behind Barca in La Liga, and long shots for the Champions League due to the form of Barca and Bayern Munich, Madrid fans were surely hoping that the Copa del Rey could produce some silverware for the team in a rough season.
Now, they are almost sure to end the season empty handed, and it's only December.
If you ask me, this mistake is completely inexcusable. According to the Spanish press, Real Madrid were made fully aware of Cherysev's suspension before the match in a document released to all teams before the day's games began.