Vinicius Jr: Real Madrid star renews attack on authorities over racist abuse and reveals death threats

Vinicius Jr: Real Madrid star renews attack on authorities over racist abuse and reveals death threats

Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr has renewed his attack on La Liga and the Spanish authorities, revealing he received death threats this season.

It comes as Real Madrid lodged a hate crime complaint with Spanish prosecutors after the Brazilian player was targeted with racist abuse during their 1-0 defeat away at Valencia on Sunday.

Valencia say police have identified a fan who made racist gestures at Vinicius and that person faces a lifetime stadium ban from the Mestalla ground.

In his latest tweet, the 22-year-old winger highlighted what he described as “continuous episodes spread across several cities in Spain”.

Referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea, left, speaks with Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior during the game

He wrote: “Every round away from home is an unpleasant surprise. And there were many this season. Death wishes, hanged doll, many criminal screams… All registered.

“But the speech always falls on ‘isolated cases’, ‘a fan’. No, these are not isolated cases. They are continuous episodes spread across several cities in Spain (and even in a television programme).

“The evidence is there in the video. Now I ask: how many of these racists had names and photos exposed on websites? I answer to make it easier: zero.”

He asked what was missing to “criminalise these people” and “punish clubs”, adding: “Why don’t sponsors charge La Liga?

“The problem is very serious and communications no longer work. Not blaming me to justify criminal acts either. You are not football, you are inhuman.”

Madrid‘s match against Valencia was paused on Sunday night after the half-time break as the Brazilian pointed out supporters who were taunting him to the referee.

Vinicius, who has been racially abused from the stands several times this season, was enraged, prompting team-mates and opposition players to try to calm him down at Valencia’s Mestalla ground.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior, left, confronts Valencia fans as Antonio Rudiger tries to calm him down during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valencia and Real Madrid, at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Sunday, May 21, 2023. The game was temporarily stopped when Vinicius said a fan had insulted him from the stands. He was later sent off after clashing with Valencia players. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Vinicius Jr (L) confronts Valencia fans as Real Madrid team-mate Antonio Rudiger tries to calm him down

He tweeted after the game: “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. In football they think it’s normal, the federation does too – and the opponent encourages it.

“I’m so sad. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi today belongs to racism.

“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.

“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, for something that happens each week, I have no defence. I let it happen.

“But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if it is far from here.”

La Liga not racist – president

La Liga president Javier Tebas responded to Vinicius’s post on Sunday by accusing the forward of “criticising and insulting” the league.

In another tweet on Monday, Tebas said: “Neither Spain nor @LaLiga are racist. It is very unfair to say this.”

‘Attacks constitute a hate crime’

In a strongly-worded statement, his club said: “Real Madrid CF shows its strongest revulsion and condemns the events that took place yesterday against our player Vinicius Jr.

“These facts constitute a direct attack on the coexistence model of our social and democratic state of law.

“Real Madrid considers that such attacks also constitute a hate crime, for which reason it has filed the corresponding complaint with the state attorney general’s office.”