Real Madrid lose case over 2013 TV clip depicting players as hyenas

Real Madrid have lost a long-running legal case first brought against Catalan TV station Esport 3 over a contentious show broadcast in 2013.

Pepe was among players depicted as hyenas eating carrion and the Portugal international was also compared to Silence of the Lambs character Hannibal Lecter.

The clip was first broadcast in 2013 at the height of rivalry between Jose Mourinho's Madrid side and Pep Guardiola's Barcelona team.

It took the form of a fake National Geographic-style documentary with a voiceover describing Blancos defenders as "avid devourers of carrion and bones" over images of Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Lassna Diarra and Mesut Ozil "hunting" Blaugrana star Lionel Messi.

The Bernabeu outfit protested against the depictions of its players, claiming damages of €6 million.

A lower court in Madrid initially found the images degrading and insulting, and awarded damages of €20,000 against Televisio de Catalunya, but after a number of appeals the case made it all the way to Spain's Tribunal Supremo.

The judgement from Spain's highest court called the clip "provocative" but said it was not punishable as "...it was a critical treatment, sarcastic and humorous, about the rivalry between the two teams and the controversy about the aggressions of the [Madrid] players."