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Vinicius Jr issues a statement after being subjected to racist slur



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

The controversy around Vinicius Jrs dance celebration has been blown out of proportion in recent days with several players and journalists taking firm stances either supporting or criticising it.

However, it completely crosses the line when Pedro Bravo, President of the Association of Spanish Agents made a racist remark against the Brazilian superstar.

Following that, Vinicius has received a huge wave of support from his teammates from both club and country, while former Brazil legends like Pele and Ronaldo have also come out in support of the 22-year-old.

Real Madrid hit out on social media condemning any form of racial abuse while the player himself gave an official statement via his Instagram.

In his official post, he stressed how dances are a celebration of diversity and not meant to disrespect anyone. He also spoke about his actions off the field to improve the conditions of his homeland and how his dance was a display of his culture.

“Weeks ago they started criminalizing my dances. Dances that aren’t mine but Ronaldinho, Neymar, Paquetá, Griezmann, J.Felix, M.Cunha, Brazilian funk/sambist, reggaeton & black American artists. Dances celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it.”

He then reiterated that nothing could stop him from celebrating his goals the way he wanted.

“Accept it, respect it because I ain’t stopping.”

He took a specific dig at Bravo who made a racial comment against him by saying, “But I repeat it to you racist: I will not stop dancing. Whether at the Sambodromo, at the Bernabéu or wherever.”

Vinicius then made a big statement by saying that some people could not digest the fact that a Brazilian was succeeding in Spain and attributed that as the reason for the criticism and abuse.

“They say that happiness is annoying. The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more.”

Vinicius will be in action on Sunday when Real Madrid face local rivals Atletico Madrid at the Civitas Metropolitano.

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Real Madrid vs Athletic Club: End of an era, farewells, tight race for second place



Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

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?

Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

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

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

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

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

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.

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