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Real Madrid might get kicked out of Copa del Rey for fielding ineligible player

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Denis Cheryshev starting and scoring in Real Madrid's match against Cadiz could cost them dearly.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid got off to a flying start in their Copa del Rey match against Cadiz when Denis Cheryshev scored just three minutes into the game. Those celebrations have been cut short, though, because as it turns out, Cheryshev shouldn't have been playing at all.

Cheryshev was booked three times in the Copa del Rey while playing for on loan for Villarreal last year, giving him an automatic one-match suspension that carries over to this season. That suspension was to apply for this match, but apparently no one ever relayed that news to Madrid manager Rafa Benitez, because he put Cheryshev into his starting lineup.

After the mistake was revealed on Twitter, Cadiz and Madrid fans started chanting "Benitez mira Twitter" -- Benitez, look at Twitter. Rafa apparently finally got the memo as the second half was beginning, as Cheryshev was subbed out just 45 seconds into the half.

This isn't the first time Benitez has gotten his team in trouble for fielding ineligible players in the Copa del Rey. In 2001, his Valenica team was kicked out of the Copa for fielding too many players from outside the European Union. Whether or not Madrid are kicked out remains to be seen -- Cadiz has until Thursday to officially lodge a complaint with the Spanish FA, and then Real Madrid's punishment will be determined. They could be kicked out, or their win could be voided and replaced with a 3-0 win for Cadiz. That would give Real the chance to play their way back to a win in the tie in the second leg in Madrid on December 16th.

Regardless, in the meantime this is quite the fiasco for Rafa Benitez and Real Madrid. One that their rivals are finding quite fun.

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