EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Jurgen Klopp dismissed questions on whether Vinicius Jr. is provocative

Brazilian wonderkid

Jurgen Klopp pushed aside the idea of whether Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior, who has faced racial abuse, ‘provoked’ the opposition. On Sunday night, Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior faced vile racial comments in LaLiga. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already shut down explanation for the attacks. The referee halted Real Madrid’s match against Valencia after Vinicius pointed out to him the supporters who were harassing him with’monkey’ shouts. The Brazil international was undoubtedly in tears and enraged on the pitch. However his teammates tried to calm him down.

Jurgen Klopp dismissed the idea of Vinicius being provocative

Vinicius was later sent out for violent behaviour in added time during his team’s 1-0 loss to Valencia. He got into an argument with Valencia striker Hugo Duro receiving his first red card in his career. Vinicius rushed at his opponent, who had him in a headlock but was spared punishment after a VAR review.

As the red card was being issued to Vinicius, the co-commentator on LaLiga TV’s international feed, which was televised in the UK, justified Vinicius’ racial insults by pointing out that the player himself had not acted flawlessly.

“He is telling the Valencia fans they are going to the second division,” the co-commentator explains. The commentator further added: “We should stand against racism but we should also say that he is not an angel. He is not perfect. Sometimes he provokes the other teams.”

“After the racial abuse, we cannot say he is a saint. He is always making mistakes.”

The argument that Vinicius ‘provokes’ opponents has been used to explain and justify the terrible racist abuse he receives. When a journalist asked Klopp about the hypothesis early in the season, he simply dismissed it.

A journalist questioned Klopp if Vinicius draws abuse on himself because “an aspect of his game is sometimes provocative, that creates some reaction”. This was before the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League match versus Madrid in February. As expected, the amused Liverpool manager quickly dismissed the idea.

Klopp said in reply: “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.”

Liverpool Boss hails Vinicius as “world-class player”

Moreover Vinicius was described as a “world-class player” by Klopp. This season, he has 23 club goals in all competitions and has contributed Real Madrid to win six trophies since January 2022, including the league title, Champions League, and Club World Cup.

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