Vinicius Jr thanks Real Madrid fans for standing ovation during game and La Liga president apologizes as teams continue to support
Vinicius Jr received a heartwarming standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
The footballing world has rallied behind the Brazilian striker after he was the victim of racist abuse from Valencia fans last weekend.
He threatened to walk off the pitch after being the victim of alleged monkey chants from the crowd.
The 22-year-old was then sent off following a fight with Valencia players in stoppage time, despite being grabbed by the neck.
His red card has since been overturned, while Valencia have been handed a five-match partial stadium closure and a €45,000 fine.
An outpouring of support greeted Vinicius Jr from his fellow pros, with Real Madrid players wearing shirts with his name and number on the back ahead of their La Liga clash at home to Rayo Vallecano.
Although his red was spilled, Vinicius Jr watched the game from the stands as he nursed a knee injury which could rule him out of their Sevilla outing on Saturday.
And in the 20th minute, as is his squad number, Real Madrid fans on the ground gave their player a standing ovation.
Vinicius Jr acknowledged the applause and tweeted after the match, “I LOVE THEM!!! THANKS, THANKS AND THANKS!”
Rodrygo’s 89th-minute goal saw Real Madrid claim a 2-1 win, with the striker celebrating ‘Black Power’ by raising his arm in the air and clenching his fist.
There was also an outpouring of support in other LaLiga fixtures this week with Barcelona star Raphinha sending a message of support after scoring a goal on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, banners reading ‘Racists, out of football’ were held by both groups of players ahead of Espanyol’s home clash against Atletico Madrid as well as the Real Betis vs Getafe game.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has also returned to comments suggesting Vinicius Jr should inquire following the player’s claims that racism is ‘normal’ in the Spanish top flight.
“I think the message and the intention that I had was not understood by a significant number (of people), especially in Brazil,” he told ESPN Brazil.
“I didn’t mean to attack Vinicius, but if most people understood it that way, I have to apologize. It wasn’t my intention, I misspoke at the wrong time.
“But I did not intend to attack Vinicius, but rather to clarify a situation, because Vinicius had recorded a video supporting LaLiga’s actions.”