Vinicus Junior did not participate in Real Madrid’s training session on Tuesday morning as the club prepare for their home game against Rayo Vallecano – but Carlo Ancelotti says the winger is going nowhere.
The Brazilian has been linked with a move away from Madrid in recent days, with many outlets suggesting he is seeking a fresh start following a number of incidents of racist abuse.
The 22-year-old is regularly a victim of vile racism at away grounds in Spain and was sent off in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Valencia after reacting angrily to alleged monkey chats directed at him, shoving opposition striker Hugo Duro.
He sent an emotional message on Twitter after the incident, claiming “racism is normal in La Liga” and that Spain was “known as a country of racists”.
It remains to be seen whether Vinicius will be suspended for Real Madrid’s next match against Vallecano on Wednesday night but did not train with the team on Tuesday before the game. He could get a three-match ban, ending his 2022/23 season with Madrid having three league games left.
He had the support of boss Ancelotti after the Valencia match with the Italian then asked about Vinicius’ future at the club in a subsequent press conference.
Ancelotti said: “He knows very well that his future has to be here and the fact of leaving is not in his head. He feels that he wants to work for Real Madrid because he is in love with the club.
“He hasn’t lost any enthusiasm. He has a blow 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 Jr was absent from Real Madrid’s training this morning as the club prepare for their home game against Rayo Vallecano 🇪🇸pic.twitter.com/zoJkK0AZPF
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 23, 2023
Vinicius has been widely backed by other major figures in world football for taking a firm stance against racism, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reacting angrily to a reporter’s notion 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.”