Vinicius Junior increasingly concerned by treatment this season
Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior is thought to be increasingly concerned by the atmosphere surrounding him this season following another incident of racist abuse from fans and rough punishment on the pitch by opposing players as Los Blancos lost to Mallorca.
Vinicius had already been subject to racist abuse by Ray Vallecano and Atletico Madrid supporters this season alone prior to kick-off in Palma on Sunday. But it happened again, with the Brazilian targeted with racial slurs. Another incident also took place at Camp Nou in November 2021.
La Liga will investigate and describe the latest incident as ‘intolerable’.
ESPN cites sources close to the Real Madrid dressing to report that Vinicius has been affected by the racism he has been on the receiving end of this season.
He was also fouled 10 times at the weekend, the most he has suffered in any game this season, and specifically clashed with Mallorca defenders Antonio Raillo and Pablo Maffeo. That came only days after effectively being assaulted by Valencia’s Gabriel Paulista, for which the former Arsenal player was shown a straight red card and later issued an apology.
ESPN adds that Vinicius’ private complaints after the Mallorca game were more focused on a lack of protection from referee Alejandro Hernandez, rather than the behaviour of the opposition.
It is not a new problem, with reports this time last year sharing Real’s concern over his treatment.
For Vinicius now, it is said that he feels referees and sections of the Spanish media are responsible for creating an ‘atmosphere of tension’ around him. He is particularly unhappy that the media have focused on him, the victim, rather those targeting him.
“It's a Spanish football problem, and as a part of Spanish football I think it's a problem we have to solve. It feels like he's guilty, but he's the victim of something. I don't understand,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said when pressed on the matter.