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Atletico Madrid ’roundly condemn’ racist abuse of Vinicius Junior

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Atletico Madrid have condemned the racist abuse Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior received prior to and during the Derbi Madrileno on Sunday.

The Brazil international was subjected to racist chanting and monkey noises from a large section of home fans both before the match outside the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and inside the ground during the game.

La Liga have already confirmed an investigation is underway, while Atletico Madrid released a statement on Tuesday denouncing supporters who abused Vinicius.

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“Atletico de Madrid roundly condemns the inadmissible chants that a minority of fans made outside the stadium before the derby was held. Racism is one of the biggest scourges in our society and unfortunately the world of football and clubs are not free from its presence.

“Our club has always been characterised by being an open and inclusive space for fans of different nationalities, cultures, races and social classes and a few cannot tarnish the image of thousands and thousands of athletes who support their team with passion and with respect for the rival,” the statement read.

“These chants cause us enormous rejection and indignation and we will not allow any individual to hide behind our colours to utter racist or xenophobic insults. At Atlético de Madrid we have zero tolerance for racism, our commitment to the fight against this social scourge is total and we will not stop until we eliminate it.

Vinicius Junior warms up for Real Madrid prior to kick-off

Vinicius Junior warms up for Real Madrid prior to kick-off / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

“For this we have contacted the authorities to offer them our maximum collaboration in the investigation of the events that occurred outside the stadium and demand the identification of the people who participated in order to proceed with the immediate expulsion of those who are members of the club.

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“We also want to invite all professionals related to the world of football to make a deep reflection. Making clear once again our strongest condemnation of these events, which do not have the slightest justification, we believe that what has happened in the days leading up to the derby is inadmissible.

“Fans are asked for sanity and rationality and, however, professionals from different fields generated an artificial campaign during the week, lighting the fuse of controversy without measuring the impact of their actions and demonstrations.

“The pain that the red and white family feels for this event is enormous. We cannot allow someone to associate our fans with this type of behaviour and question our values ​​because of a minority that does not represent us. Our decision is firm and resounding and we will not stop until we expel them from the red and white family because they cannot be part of it.”

Vinicius was criticised by the Spanish media and Atletico Madrid players in the lead-up to the derby due to his celebratory dancing after scoring a goal, though certain comments – such as those from agent Pedro Bravo in which he suggested the winger “stop playing the monkey” – were judged to have had racist undertones.

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Real Madrid ran out 2-1 winners on Sunday, with Rodrygo opening the scoring for Los Blancos and joining Vinicius in his trademark dancing.



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EPL

RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

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RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

Manchester United may consider a shock bid for Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the midst of uncertainty encompassing David De Gea’s future, reports propose.

As per the Telegraph, United are not persuaded they need to broaden De Gea’s agreement, which runs out in June and procures him an astounding £350,000, and could allow him to go free of charge in June.

The Spanish shot-stopper, who was omitted from Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the international break, suffered a poor start to the season with a raft of errors most notably at Brentford.

And United are also dealing with a high wage bill that reached a Premier League record of £384million last season.

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The Red Devils announced earlier this week that their salaries have increased by a whopping £61.6m from the previous year.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return as well as Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane’s arrivals led to a 19.1 per cent increase in their salary bill as well as a net loss amounting to £115.5m.

United are assessing their long-term plans and a change between the sticks can’t be ruled out, even though De Gea, 31, has improved recently and has been integral in the last 11 years at Old Trafford.

That could bring England’s No1 Pickford, 28, into the frame come January.

The Everton shot stopper has various clubs carefully monitoring his situation as he will have just one year left on his Everton contract at the end of the season.

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The England international is also a homegrown player, which is very appealing to his suitors.

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Rob Page says Wales ‘will be in contact’ with LAFC regarding Gareth Bale’s World Cup fitness

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Wales boss Rob Page has revealed he’ll remain in close contact with LAFC regarding Gareth Bale’s fitness as the World Cup approaches.

Bale played the full 90 minutes as Wales lost 1-0 against Poland on Sunday in a result that confirmed their relegation from their UEFA Nations League group.

However, that’s the first time the 33-year-old has managed a full game at any level since March of this year, while he hasn’t gone 90 at club level since a La Liga match against Getafe for Real Madrid in April 2020.

Wales’ next game is their World Cup Group B opener against the United States on November 21. Before then, it’s vital Bale plays as many minutes as possible in the MLS regular season and Playoffs for LAFC.

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“They want Gareth available for them and we want him in the physical position for the first [World Cup] game against the USA. We will be in contact with them and make sure he is in the right place,” Page said of Bale’s situation at LAFC, where only two of the forward’s 11 appearances have been from the start.

“What he does from now until the first game, we will be in contact with the club and help manage those minutes. They are a good outfit, LA, so they will know exactly how to get him from where he is now to full fitness, which is 90 minutes week in, week out.”

LAFC are level on 64 points with the Philadelphia Union at the top of the overall MLS standings. The Black and Gold have just two more regular season games remaining – away to the Portland Timbers and at home against Nashville SC – before they begin their Playoffs run.

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Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



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Federico Bernardeschi reveals why he switched Juventus for Toronto FC & MLS

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Federico Bernardeschi has revealed he had multiple offers after leaving Juventus, but the ambition of Toronto FC and Major League Soccer played a key role in his move across the Atlantic.

The 28-year-old Italy international was one of a number of eye-catching additions for TFC this summer alongside compatriots Lorenzo Insigne – who agreed a contract earlier in the year – and Domenico Criscito.

Speaking to TLN, Bernardeschi has revealed he turned down other offers from ‘important’ clubs to move to Toronto.

“I believe that I finished a journey at Juventus. There were various teams we spoke to, and various teams that came forward,” he said.

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“They’re important names and I thank them, but there were little things that didn’t work out one way or another. With Toronto, everything went smoothly.”

Though TFC have continued to struggle, Bernardeschi has made an excellent start in MLS, scoring eight goals and assisting another two in his first 11 appearances.

That’s given the forward plenty of time to evaluate the quality of the league, and Bernardeschi has certainly been impressed by MLS so far.

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“I think MLS has a great future, I think they have very big projects, not only here in Toronto as they’re showing, but for the entire league,” he said.

“This is good for all football worldwide but especially for football and sport in North America. It is beautiful to see and for sure it’s beautiful to be a part of.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

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