Speaking in an interview with POLITICO, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has condemned the act of racist abuse directed towards Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr by the fans of Atletico Madrid.
The situation was sparked by initial comments made by football agent Pedro Bravo towards Vinicius Jr, criticising the Brazilian’s post-goal dancing celebrations, which had racist connotations.
The 22-year-old received widespread support from the entire footballing community following that, but ahead of the derby, a section of Atletico Madrid supporters hurled racist chants at the Real Madrid forward outside the Civitas Metropolitano.
It did not stop at that as the chants even continued during the match inside the stadium as Los Rojiblancos targeted Vinicius.
Following the vile behaviour, Atletico Madrid released a statement condemning the act while La Liga have also started to take action as they are filing a complaint with the Anti-Violence Commission.
The racism storm has caught the eye of Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez as well, who happens to be an Atletico Madrid supporter.
“I’m a big supporter of Atletico Madrid, so I was very sad,” Sanchez said. “And I expected a strong message from the clubs against this kind of behaviour. This is what I will ask of my team.”
“I think it’s important that the soccer clubs take seriously this kind of behavior and react,” Sanchez added.
There have been calls for a stadium ban to be handed to Atletico Madrid following the unsavoury incidents on Sunday night. However, it is unlikely that such an action will be taken. The Rojiblancos could, however, be hit with a fine after the behaviour from their fans.
Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Rodrygo, Militao, Carvajal, Tchouameni ahead of Real Sociedad clash
Real Madrid will take on Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu in Matchday 19 of La Liga on Sunday.
Los Blancos are already three points behind leaders Barcelona in the table and the gap could widen to six points later today as Barcelona face Girona. So, there will be pressure on the reigning champions to bag a victory against La Real, which will be easier said than done.
But, momentum is on Real Madrid’s side as they have racked up three consecutive wins over three tricky opponents in Villarreal, Athletic Club and Atletico Madrid.
On the eve of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media and spoke about the Atletico’s statements regarding the refereeing in the derby, injury situation of his players, among several other things.
On the match against Real Sociedad: “It will be a tough match, we have to play a complete game defensively and offensively. “The aim is to do better than we did in the first half against Atletico Madrid.”
On Atletico Madrid’s statements: “It was an even match and we deserved to win. The rest is something I’m not going to talk about.”
On Real Madrid’s recent ups and downs: “What happens in football goes through my head. There are moments of difficulty and you have to keep a cool head and that’s what we have done. This is a team effort and everyone brings their own contribution. Football gives you the chance to quickly get out of a bad moment and that’s why you always have to be focused.”
On Real Madrid’s style and identity being questioned: “They said the same when we won the Champions League last season. Real Madrid doesn’t have a clear identity in terms of football. I don’t want to. I have a team that knows how to do many things. We want to win the games, this is what matters.”
On Vinicius Jr’s performance vs Atletico: “He prepared for the derby like every match, he always wants to play. He worked very hard, he ran, he made mistakes, but he scored.”
On Davide Ancelotti’s links to Everton: “Davide wants to be first team coach and that will happen one day but not now. The day I stop coaching or the day he decides to leave, he can leave without a problem. He has to make his career and he will do it because he has the ability. But for the moment we are doing very well here and we haven’t finished the job.”
On Rodrygo’s position in the 4-2-3-1 setup: “For me, the 4-2-3-1 is a system that I like above all for the defensive aspect. Sometimes Rodrygo has played in midfield, sometimes Asensio and Modric. Rodrygo likes it because it is an ideal position for him and that is why we are thinking about it.”
On the referees: “I see it as a very, very complicated job. VAR has helped a lot, like with offside, but all subjective decisions can create a problem and controversy. If we compare with the 80s and 90s, there is no corruption. Sometimes they fail, like everyone else. In general, in Europe, refereeing has improved a lot.”
On Dani Carvajal: “He did well in the first half, he was called up to the national team. Until November he had a good season. Now he is coming back from injury, we trust him, he has experience and he will offer a lot to us. He will be available for the next game, as will Alaba and Tchouameni, who will be back on Thursday against Valencia.”
On Atletico Madrid CEO’s statement: “I haven’t read anything. I’ve heard something and that’s it. I prefer not to talk about this subject. I respect all opinions and that’s it.”
On the team’s attitude: “It’s the attitude they all have. I have a very good squad in this sense, nobody gives up because they don’t play. Everyone is trying to prove to me that they deserve minutes. Camavinga, Ceballos, Asensio…. It’s a moment where we need everyone’s help.”
On the fan support at the Bernabeu: “The fans help us. We had some very nice moments last year, they are there during the most difficult moments.”
On Eder Militao: “I see him very well, with room for improvement. He is one of the best in the world when he is focused. Formidable with his head, quick, forceful, aggressive, plays well from the back… He is, without a doubt, one of the best.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter