Real Madrid clinched a 2-1 win over mid-table Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga on Wednesday night as fans and players showed their support for Vinicius Junior, who was again the target of racist abuse last weekend.
“We are all Vinicius. Enough is enough” said a banner displayed behind one of the goals at the Santiago Bernabeu as the Real Madrid players took to the pitch wearing the number 20 Vinicius shirts while the captains of both teams wore armbands bearing anti-racist messages.
Karim Benzema put Real Madrid ahead in the 31st minute when he received a cross on the edge of the box and scored from close range before Rayo striker Raul de Tomas leveled six minutes from time.
Rodrygo was able to put Real Madrid back ahead before the final whistle.
Madrid’s Brazilian forward Vinicius was subjected to racist insults during Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Valencia.
Vinicius joined his team-mates on the pitch to a standing ovation after all the players posed next to the official LaLiga banner “Racist, get out of football.”
He was not part of Madrid’s squad for the game although the red card he received in Valencia was overturned on Tuesday and his suspension was subsequently lifted.
A knee problem forced Vinicius to miss pre-match training, Spanish media reported, and he watched the game sitting next to club president Florentino Perez.
“I am surprised by the decision of the competition committee [RFEF],” coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference as quoted by ESPN.
“I think it was the right decision,” he continued.
He added that the partial closure of the stands imposed on Valencia as a punishment was an important step forward.
“Hopefully this problem will be resolved soon,” said Ancelotti. “The players around Vinicius feel very affected. Everyone is aware of what happened. Our society is full of bright people, especially in Spain.
“When intelligent people make decisions, things get done faster.”
Many Madrid fans came to the stadium wearing the Brazilian’s shirt and scarf, sending a clear message that they were unhappy with the abuse he had suffered.
“Vini, this is my communique. Seeing you is my gift,” said one of the posters held by a young fan.
Benzema put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute from Federico Valverde’s cross on the edge of the box and finished from close range.
Striker Rayo De Tomas leveled six minutes from time but Rodrygo restored Real’s advantage in the 89th minute, beating goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski with a low shot from outside the area at the right post.
“[Rodrygo] gave us a lot, he is developing well,” said Ancelotti. “Next season he will continue to improve. He is affected a lot because he is a good friend of [Vinicius]. He wants to show solidarity with his team-mates.”