Federico Valverde punches Villarreal’s Alex Baena in car park after Real Madrid defeat

The post-match confrontation between Federico Valverde and Alex Baena stole the spotlight from Real Madrid’s 3-2 defeat against Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday.

According to reports, 24-year-old Real Madrid player Federico Valverde punched 21-year-old winger Alex Baena in the face in the stadium’s parking lot after the match, following the team’s loss to Villarreal.

The motive appears to have stemmed from a derogatory remark made by Baena in the previous match-up between the two sides in the Copa del Rey back in January, where,according to ESPN, Baena said to Valverde: “Cry now that your son is not going to be born,” referencing Valverde’s partner’s miscarriage scare.

In last night's match, which saw Real Madrid's hopes of catching up to Barcelona in the LaLiga title race dwindle, it seems that another disparaging comment was made towards Federico Valverde. Despite playing an additional game, Real Madrid is still 12 points behind the league leaders.

Allegedly, Valverde was provoked once again during last night's match, which resulted in him waiting for the Villarreal team bus after the game to confront Alex Baena. It is said that Valverde asked Baena to repeat the remark he made on the field. The loss in the match was another setback for Real Madrid, who are still 12 points behind Barcelona in the LaLiga standings, having played an additional game.

What has Baena said about the incident?

Baena has denied making these comments, and tweeted after the last night’s win: “Very happy with the team’s impressive victory in a venule like the Santiago Bernabeu, but at the same time very sad for the aggression I suffered after the game and surprised by what is being said about me. IT IS COMPLETELY FALSE THAT I SAID THAT.”

When approached by Spanish outletMarca, Valverde admitted that his ‘aggression’ towards Baena did occur, and his reasoning for it was that he was reacting to new comments that were made by the player.

What has Valverde said about the incident?

The full statement provided to Marca by Valverde’s entourage states: “In the Copa del Rey match, Baena kicked Fede and told him: ‘cry now that your son is not going to be born.’ That stayed there, but today he said another similar thing to him, and Fede got heated. So he waited for him in the parking lot and told him that he was ‘not messing with his family.’”

Valverde’s entourage went on to support him further by saying: “Fede never has problems with anyone and this has been for something very serious that comes from before.”

In a recently deleted tweet, Villarreal’s delegate Xisco Nadal called out Valverde by saying: “Fede valverde macarra y corbarde!”

This translates to: “Fede Valverde a thug and a coward!”

Villarreal have explored possible courses of action by being in contact with the Spanish police. The decision now lays with Alex Baena on whether to press charges.

Despite this off-the-field altercation, Real Madrid must now pull together from this loss, and prepare for their upcomingChampions Leaguequarter-final againstChelseaon Wednesday.

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