Following the unsavoury incident of Sunday at the Civitas Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid have issued an official statement condemning the act of racist abuse directed towards Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr.
The 22-year-old winger was subjected to vile racist chants from a section of Los Rojiblancos’ supporters outside the stadium before kickoff and even during the derby at the Metropolitano.
There have been calls for a stadium ban to be handed to Atletico Madrid following the incident. While developments over any punishment are awaited, the club have now issued a statement condemning the section of fans who were involved in the act.
“Atlético de Madrid roundly condemns the inadmissible chants that a minority of fans made outside the stadium before the derby was held. Racism is one of the biggest scourges in our society and unfortunately the world of football and clubs are not free from its presence.
“Our club has always been characterized by being an open and inclusive space for fans of different nationalities, cultures, races and social classes and a few cannot tarnish the image of thousands and thousands of athletes who support their team with passion and with respect for the rival.”
The Colchoneros also confirmed that they will co-operate with the authorities to identify the individuals who made the chants against Vinicius and will issue bans from the stadium to those involved.
“At Atlético de Madrid we have zero tolerance for racism, our commitment to the fight against this social scourge is total and we will not stop until we eliminate it.”
“For this, we have contacted the authorities to offer them our maximum collaboration in the investigation of the events that occurred outside the stadium and demand the identification of the people who participated in order to proceed with the immediate expulsion of those who are members of the club.”
“Our decision is firm and resounding and we will not stop until we expel them from the red and white family because they cannot be part of it.”
The Spanish Prime Minister, who also is an Atletico Madrid supporter, has commented on the matter, stating that he hopes that proper action is taken against those involved in this vile behaviour.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.