Real Madrid News
Spanish police arrest three individuals over racial abuse charges against Vinicius Jr
According to BBC, police in Spain have arrested three young fans in Valencia over the charges of racial abuse targeted towards Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. Local police have confirmed that the culprits are aged between 18 and 21.
Real Madrid’s 0-1 defeat at the hands of Valencia was marred by a series of unfortunate incidents.
The match was paused in the second half when the footballer complained to the referee about Valencia fans making racist chants against him. “I don’t want to play anymore,” he said to the official.
Later in the game, he got into an altercation with the Valencia goalkeeper before slapping one of the players which prompted the referee to give him his marching orders, although none of the Valencia stars who were involved in the melee were punished.
After the game, the 22-year-old made a prompt comment on the incident, saying that “La Liga belongs to racists.”
Reacting to his comment, La Liga president Javier Tebas said that Vinicius has been invited to the meetings to discuss what it “can do in cases of racism” but the footballer has never turned up. Tebas added that “Before you criticise and slander La Liga, you need to inform yourself properly.”
All this has put Real Madrid in a difficult state as it is said that the footballer’s continuity is not guaranteed.
While these are nothing but floating rumours, the problem continues to persist and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has assured Vinicius that the team will take every possible step to defend and support him and ensure actions are taken against those who targeted him with racial slurs during the Valencia clash.
Valencia had vowed to hand lifetime bans to anyone found guilty in the incident and will be doing so to the trio that has been arrested by the police.
Earlier today, the Spanish police had also arrested four other individuals who were involved in the hanging of Vinicius’ effigy off a bridge ahead of the Madrid derby. While the arrest is a positive step, it is sad that it happened as many as three months after the incident had occurred.
Real Madrid vs Athletic Club: End of an era, farewells, tight race for second place
Real Madrid will walk down the tunnel of Santiago Bernabeu one last time this season on Sunday night. The men in white are pitted against Athletic Club on their final match-day, and the game will not be an easy affair by any means.
The Basque side sit in seventh place on the league standings with 50 points in 37 appearances. However, their qualification for the UEFA Conference League is in danger with Osasuna lurking close behind with an equal number of points.
Anything less than a win could prove insufficient for the visitors and it is clear that they arrive at Santiago Bernabeu with nothing less than a win on their agenda. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Athletic Club Bilbao.
1. The end of an era for the number 9 shirt?
The grey area around Karim Benzema’s future has only widened in recent days. From a situation where his continuity at Real Madrid was taken for granted, it did not take long for the Frenchman’s story to enter a steep deviation.
An economically tempting proposal from Saudi Arabia had Benzema seriously contemplating a move away from Santiago Bernabeu, and reports stated that his departure from the Spanish club was close to complete.
The world, thus, looked in anticipation of his next official interaction with the media. The Ballon d’Or winner publicly addressed the topic for the first time earlier this week, and it is safe to say that his words gave nothing away.
Benzema neither confirmed nor completely refuted the rumours of his exit to the media. His situation is balanced on the blade of a knife and could tip in either direction.
In that sense, there is a good chance that tomorrow’s clash at Santiago Bernabeu is Karim Benzema’s final game for Real Madrid. If the striker does choose to change loyalties, it would mark the end of an era for the team’s number nine position.
It has been over a decade since the Frenchman took over the prestigious kit. He has played 647 games for the club so far in his career, scoring a stunning 353 goals in the process. Of them, 98 have been match-winning contributions.
2. A day of farewells
Earlier today, Real Madrid announced the departure of Marco Asensio from the club. The Spanish winger appears set to sign for PSG for the 2023-24 season and will bid adieu on Sunday. However, he will not be the only player playing his final game for the club tomorrow.
Nacho Fernandez has been a critical part of Real Madrid’s success in recent years but is another name close to sealing an exit. The defender is not satisfied with the playing time under his belt at the club and has not yet responded to the renewal offer on his table.
With his contract running out in less than 30 days, he appears closer to leaving than staying. One can expect an announcement from Nacho on Sunday night after the game at the Bernabeu, which could be his final game in white.
The situation with Dani Ceballos is quite similar. The Spanish midfielder is still undecided on his future, although there is still a slight chance he could continue at the club. Staying on the subject of players making their final appearance, however, he could be one on the list.
Away from the stories of incomplete renewal negotiations, Mariano Diaz is one player whose departure from the club is confirmed. Ferland Mendy, Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola and Eden Hazard are some of the other candidates well-placed to make departures, although nothing can be said for sure.
3. A tight race for second place
There is not much to play for on Sunday night except for the emotional tag of it being the season’s final game. Yet, the men in white will not be without an objective against Athletic Club.
Los Blancos sit on 77 points in 37 league appearances this season and just have a one-point lead over third-placed Atletico Madrid. Needless to say, they must be vary of their position on the standings for any complacency could see them drop down the ladder.
Diego Simeone’s men take on fifth-placed Villarreal at the same time as Real Madrid’s game against Athletic Club. Even if Carlo Ancelotti’s men settle for a draw against the Basque side, the second place would be Atletico Madrid’s to lose.
With both games kicking off simultaneously, there will be nerves throughout the ninety minutes in Madrid. One can only hope for action-filled games to keep the anxiety and adrenaline high.