Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. was absent from Tuesday’s training session as his team gets ready for their home clash against Rayo Vallecano – but his manager Carlo Ancelotti insists he is not leaving the club.
The 22-year-old Brazilian has faced several incidents of racist abuse from fans in Spain and was shown a red card in Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Valencia after he confronted opposition striker Hugo Duro for allegedly making monkey noises at him.
He expressed his frustration on Twitter after the game, saying “racism is normal in La Liga” and that Spain was “known as a country of racists”.
It is unclear whether Vinicius will be available for Real Madrid’s next game against Vallecano on Wednesday night but he did not join his teammates on Tuesday before the match. He could face a three-game suspension, which would end his 2022/23 season with Madrid having three league games left.
He received the backing of his boss Ancelotti after the Valencia game and the Italian also addressed Vinicius’ future at the club in a later press conference.
Ancelotti said: “He knows very well that his future has to be here and he is not thinking about leaving. He loves Real Madrid and wants to work for this club.
“He is not losing any enthusiasm. He has a knock and that’s why he didn’t train but he leads a normal life. We are waiting to see what sanction they give him.”
Vinicius has been widely supported by other prominent figures in world football for standing up against racism, including Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who reacted angrily to a reporter’s suggestion that the player may provoke fans.
Asked whether Vinicius brings it on himself, Klopp replied: “That he is doing something on the pitch that could cause it? There is nothing in the world that could justify that.
“Imagine if I say yes, that would be completely insane.”