Real Madrid's Ancelotti expects Vinicius Jr to stay at club

The manager says the Brazilian was "very sad" yet overwhelmed by the "unconditional support" he was receiving "even from rivals"

Published : 23 May 2023, 01:37 PM
Updated : 23 May 2023, 01:37 PM

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday he expected Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr to remain at the Spanish club despite facing racist abuse in several LaLiga matches.

"I don't think (he will leave Spain), because he loves football and he loves Real Madrid. His love for the club is very big and he wants to make his career here," Ancelotti told a news conference.

He said Vinicius was "very sad" yet overwhelmed by the "unconditional support" he was receiving "even from rivals."

"He is the victim of what's going on. Sometimes I see people putting the blame on him, saying that he provokes, about his attitude... no!" he said, adding that the fact that the insults had started as soon as the club bus arrived at the stadium invalidated arguments that Vinicius had provoked the fans.

Seven people were detained by Spanish police earlier on Tuesday, accused of different hate crimes against Vinicius Jr, including racist slurs allegedly hurled at the Brazilian during Sunday's match at Valencia's Mestalla stadium.

The arrests come a day after football federation chief Luis Rubiales said Spanish soccer has a racism problem, the 10th complaint filed by Real Madrid for racist abuse against Vinicius in Spain this season.

Ancelotti urged authorities to take more effective actions against racism and hate speech in soccer and said the protocols in place to deal with the issue were obsolete.

"I want actions! And nothing has been done yet. There are countries where they don't insult you, like England, for example, where they solved it a long time ago: when they expelled England from European competition for five years."

He said he was contemplating taking his team off the pitch next time Vinicius or any of his players become victims of racist abuse.