Gareth Bale and Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid during the match between FC Barcelona v Real Madrid of Copa del Rey, semifinals, first leg, 2018-2019 season. Camp Nou Stadium. Barcelona, Spain - 06 FEB 2019

Ronaldo, Mbappe, Bale & Casemiro among key football figures to speak up in solidarity with Vinicius Jr

Some of the most famous names across the world of football have spoken out in solidarity with Vinicius Junior after the latest episode of racist abuse levelled at the Real Madrid forward.

The Brazil international was sent off in the closing stages of Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to Valencia on Sunday. He’d already called attention to abuse and monkey chants from the stands but the game continued.

Later that evening, Vinicius posted a lengthy statement on social media, criticising how La Liga have handled the many racist incidents he’s been subjected to over the past year.

Here are 14 key football figures to have spoken out in support.

Xavi Hernandez

“It’s a shame that these things happen in 2023 – it’s unacceptable. It’s not about club badges or colours, it’s about people and we have to condemn any act of racism like the one that happened at Mestalla with Vinicius,” the Barcelona manager said in his latest press conference.

“I think the games have to be stopped. I’m working and it’s normal that people criticise you in the world of football, but not that they insult you. It’s time to end this once and for all. If there is an insult, we don’t play. I don’t have to tolerate all kinds of insults in my working hours. I’ve always thought that and now that I’m a Barça coach I can say it.”

Jules Kounde

“Discriminatory insults should not be tolerated or justified,” the Barcelona defender posted on Twitter.

“To say that a player’s behaviour can provoke racist reactions is to shift the debate. We must focus on solutions because the problem is unfortunately recurrent and tarnishes the image of this League.

“This is certainly the fact of a minority but that does not make it more acceptable.

“Are these people deeply racist or do they act only in order to destabilise?

“Hard to say. But one thing is certain, words matter and actions have consequences.

“These behaviours are punishable by law. Stadium banning, alone, would be all too easy. What sanctions exist beyond football? Are they actually applied? Are they sufficient? Can we imagine more educational and general interest measures?

“Ignorance is the worst of evils, but it can be cured. I remain convinced that everyone is able to reflect on their past behavior, to take stock of the harm it has caused and to change for the better.

All my support @vinijr”


“I feel disappointed and very sad to see, ashamed, how episodes of racism with my teammate Vinicius Junior are repeated.

“We cannot continue to tolerate this problem that transcends sport, affects all of society and goes unpunished. Public condemnation is not enough, punishment is needed.

“La Liga must urgently take exemplary measures, because these repeated incidents of racism tarnish the image not only of Spanish football, but also of the whole of world football. And the feeling must be unanimous: zero tolerance!!!!”

Raphael Varane

Bruno Guimaraes

“This MORON needs to get out of there already arrested!” tweeted the Newcastle midfielder after Pedro Bravo, a chief agent in Spain, appeared on Spanish TV show El Chiringuito and told Vinicius to ‘stop playing the monkey’.

“There is no excuse! If the guy says that on live TV, imagine what he doesn’t say when he’s not. Incomprehensible if this guy is not jailed.”


“Dance Vini Jr” Neymar posted back in September following the above incident.

The PSG star has consistently spoken up in support of his Selecao team-mate in recent months.


“Football is joy. It’s a dance. It’s more than that. It’s a real party,” the sadly departed icon wrote on Instagram in September.

“Although, unfortunately, racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism every day in this way: fighting for our right to be happy and respected.”


“Boring situation, right? I even texted that guy over there who talked bullshit to him on the show,” Richarlison responded to the Bravo incident.

“But that he can have fun like he’s been doing and I’ll hope he scores a goal.

“I called him a s***… but that he can solve this as soon as possible and don’t miss it.”

Kylian Mbappe

Gareth Bale

Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti did not mince his words in his post-match interview following the abuse levelled at Vinicius in Valencia.

“About what happened here. I think that’s more important. More important than a defeat, don’t you?” the Madrid coach responded when asked about the 1-0 defeat to Valencia.

“I’m calm, but what happened today shouldn’t happen. For a stadium to shout “monkey” at a player and for a coach to think about taking him off for that… There’s something wrong with this league.”

“He didn’t want to play on. I told him that I didn’t think it was fair, it wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t to blame. He continued playing, and he also got a senseless red card. That said, we have a problem.

“For me, Vinícius is one of the best in the world. These episodes of racism can’t happen, it was the whole stadium, not just one person, as on other occasions. It has to be stopped. And I would say the same if we won 3-0.”

Jurgen Klopp

“That he is doing something on the pitch that could cause it?” responded Klopp back in February when asked by a reporter if Vinicius somehow ‘provokes’ the abuse he receives.

“There is nothing in the world that could justify that. Imagine if I say yes, that would be completely insane.”

Ronaldo Nazario

“Once again an episode of racism in La Liga. As long as there is impunity, there’ll be racism,” posted the legendary Brazilian, who is also the majority shareholder of La Liga club Real Valladolid.

“Unacceptable that refs, RFEF, authorities are left without action and that fans applaud such absurdity. It’s enough. Vini, count on me in your fight. In our fight.”

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Rio Ferdinand

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