Democratic duties took precedence over sporting ones for soccer star Marcelo on Tuesday, when the Real Madrid defender was drafted into the team supervising a regional election in the Spanish capital.
Chosen by city authorities as a back-up monitor, Marcelo reported for work early in the day at a polling station in the suburb of La Moraleja.
He was sent home a few minutes later, newspaper Marca reported, when the principal worker selected for the task arrived – leaving him free to travel to London for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea.
Brazilian-born Marcelo became a Spanish national in 2011. Adults on the country’s electoral register are chosen at random to staff polling stations, for which they are paid 65 euros ($72).
Real had asked for Marcelo to be excused due to the Chelsea match, but their request was turned down.
He and the rest of the squad will fly to London on Tuesday for Wednesday’s decider at Stamford Bridge, where they will be looking to book their place in the Champions League final for the fifth time in eight years. The teams drew the first leg in Madrid 1-1.