Fans applaud Vinicius Jnr and chant his name in the 20th minute at the Bernabeu during Real Madrid’s 2-1 win against Rayo Vallecano after the 22-year-old suffered racist abuse against Valencia
- Vinicius Jr was applauded by fans inside the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening
- He was not in the squad for Real Madrid’s LaLiga 2-1 win against Rayo Vallecano
- It comes after the forward has been racially abused throughout the season
Fans were seen chanting Vinicius Jnr’s name and applauding the young winger during the 20th minute of Real Madrid’s 2-1 against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday night.
It was a show of solidarity after the winger has been subjected to racial abuse during Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Valencia, which is just one of several occasions during this season that the Real Madrid forward has received discrimination.
The 22-year-old was seen on the pitch ahead of the game, as his team-mates all donned jerseys embroidered with his name and squad number, 20, as a show of solidarity for Vinicius, who was not named in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for the match.
Fans also unveiled a banner inside the Bernabeu which read in Spanish: ‘We are all Vinicius, enough already!’
His team-mates and the Ray Vallecano players were also pictured holding a red banner before the match, that read: ‘Racists out of football.’
The forward received a red card during Madrid’s loss to Valencia after he struck Hugo Duro with his arm.
But that has since been expunged by LaLiga and his absence for tonight’s encounter at the Bernabeu was reportedly due to a knee injury.
After walking onto the pitch before the game, he was seen watching the game from the stands, and during the 20th minute of the game, he received rapturous applause from all inside the stadium, with the forward standing up out of his seat to express his gratitude to those supporters.
His team went on to secure a dramatic late victory against 11th place Vallecano, with Karim Benzema putting the home side up after 31 minutes, after Federico Valverde put the ball on a plate for the French striker who tapped in from close range.
His effort was cancelled out in the 84th minute by Raul de Tomas, who strided through to put a precise strike past Thibaut Courtois in net, levelling the scores at 1-1.
But it was Rodrygo who would have the final say, following up to smash a low shot past Stole Dimitrievski in net into the bottom right corner to give Madrid the victory in the 89th minute.
After the goal, he seemed to lower his head and raise his fist in dedication and solidarity to his friend Vinicius.
In light of the racist abuse he has suffered, questions have been raised over whether the Brazilian will remain at the Spanish giants.
But, ahead of the match, Ancelotti made it clear in a press conference that the forward was not thinking about leaving the club.
Ancelotti, when asked whether the 22-year-old would leave the club, said: ‘I don’t think so. He loves Real Madrid.
‘A lot of things have gone through his head but I don’t think it’s on his mind to leave. His love for the club is very big and he wants to make his career here.’
Meanwhile, the Spanish football federation have awarded Valencia a £40,000 fine and a closure of Valencia’s Mario Mario Kempes stand for five matches.
Earlier today, Valencia hit back at what they called was a ‘disproportionate and unfair’ ban, but did condemn the racism too saying ‘these behaviours have no place in football or in society.’
After the game against Valencia, Vinicius had wrote a post on his Instagram saying: ‘It wasn’t the first time, not the second and not the third. Racism is normal in La Liga.
‘The competition thinks it’s normal, so does the Federation and the opponents encourage it. I am soo sorry.’
‘The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi, today belongs to the racists.’
UEFA have held urgent talks on taking a stand against the targeted abuse at the young footballer, while LaLiga President, Javier Tebas, has also now apologised for comments made after Vinicius posted on Instagram.
Tebas had accused Vinicius of not appearing at LaLiga meetings to discuss his complaints but has since apologised for his comments, saying: ‘I did not want to attack Vinicius, but if most people understood it that way, I need to apologise. It was not my intention I expressed myself badly, at a bad time.’
Vinicius has continued to receive support from all over the footballing community with Barcelona star Raphinha wearing a vest bearing a message of support for his Real Madrid rival during Barca’s 3-1 defeat by Valladolid on Tuesday night.
His shirt read: ‘As long as the colour of the skin is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war. We are together, Vinicius.’
Former Arsenal forward, Ian Wright, slammed footballing authorities for ‘not being serious about racism’ while sympathising with the 22-year-old.
More to follow…
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