MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid left back Marcelo was able to travel with his team to their Champions League semi-final decider with Chelsea after a fellow citizen freed him from his duties as a supervisor in Madrid's regional election on Tuesday.
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.
Real had asked for Marcelo to be excused as he was due to travel to Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg away to Chelsea later in the day, but their request was turned down.
Luckily for the player and his club, however, Marcelo was sent home a few minutes later after a second back-up monitor volunteered to take his place, Spanish news channel La Sexta reported.
Later on Tuesday morning he boarded a flight to London with his team mates for the game at Stamford Bridge, where Real will be looking to book their place in the final for the fifth time in eight years.
The teams drew the first leg in Madrid 1-1.
Brazilian-born Marcelo, a four-time Champions League winner with Real, became a Spanish national in 2011, a common path for South American players in Spain to ensure their squad does not exceed limits on players from outside the European Union.
Adults on the country's electoral register are chosen at random to staff polling stations, for which they are paid 65 euros ($72).
(Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by John Stonestreet and Christian Radnedge)