Barcelona's Raphinha sends message of support for Vinicius Jr after racist abuse


Raphinha of FC Barcelona with shirt supporting Vinicius Junior during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Valladolid CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on May 23, 2023 in Valladolid, Spain.

Barcelona winger Raphinha showed his support for Vinicius Jr by wearing a vest emblazoned with an anti-racist message.

The Real Madrid forward was the subject of a racist attack during Real’s 1-0 LaLiga defeat at Valencia on Sunday.

Valencia say police have identified a fan who made racist gestures at Vincius and that individual faces a lifetime stadium ban from the Mestalla after Real filed a race crime complaint.

The game was paused after the break as Vinicius pointed out to the referee those who were abusing him in the stands – and he later took to social media to say LaLiga belongs to ‘racists’ and ‘in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists’.

Following Barca’s 3-1 loss to Real Valladolid on Tuesday, Raphinha revealed a vest bearing the message: ‘As long as the colour of the skin is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war. We are together, Vinicius.’The 22-year-old Los Blancos winger recognised the gesture on Twitter after the game and offered his thanks.

The racism suffered by Vinicius has been condemned by some of LaLiga’s most prominent figures.

While others have attempted to downplay the nature of Vinicius’ complaints.

League president Javier Tebas insisted Spanish football doesn’t have a problem with racism and labelled Vinicius’ criticism as ‘unfair’.

Meanwhile, Barcelona manager Xavi issued a message of support for the Brazilian flair player and accused football of being ‘the only profession in which insults are accepted’.

Vinicius was also comforted by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Perez held a meeting with the player on Monday where he explained how the club will defend him, while Carlo Ancelotti played down talk that his star winger could leave.

It was announced on Tuesday night that the Valencia stand responsible for the racist chants would be closed for five games, with the club fined £40,000 and Vinicius’ red card from the game rescinded.

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