Carlo Ancelotti has criticised media coverage of Vinícius Júnior’s testimony at the trial of three men accused of racially abusing him, saying some are “trying to change the subject” by focusing on the player.
The Real Madrid forward gave evidence to a court in Valencia on Thursday via videolink after the incident at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on May 21.
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Valencia CF issued a statement calling on Vinícius to “publicly rectify” his reported testimony that the entire stadium had participated in racist abuse against him, while the Valencia-based newspaper Superdeporte called the player “Pinochius” — a reference to Pinocchio — and said he had “lied to the judge” in their frontpage story on Friday.
“They’re trying to change the subject,” Ancelotti said in a news conference on Friday. “The point is that Vinícius was the victim of racist insults. Whether it was one [fan], ten, a thousand or ten thousand, that doesn’t change the point.
“We had a player who was the victim of racist insults and now there’s a court case. Some of the media want to change the subject. That’s a shame, and it makes me angry.”
“[Vinícius] is fine, he’s motivated as always,” Ancelotti added. “I haven’t spoken to him. I don’t know what he said, nobody knows what he said in court. But he’s fine and happy to play tomorrow.”
Real Madrid host Osasuna in LaLiga on Saturday at the Bernabeu, a stadium being discussed as a possible World Cup final venue after Spain were nominated as joint hosts of the 2030 edition of the tournament.
“The World Cup final should be played in Madrid,” Ancelotti said. “Madrid is the capital of Spain, and [it should be] at the Bernabeu because the Bernabeu is going to be the best stadium in the world, simple as that.”
The new Bernabeu is nearing completion after a five-year, €900 million redevelopment which is expected to be completed in December.
“It’s good news for Spain to have a World Cup,” Ancelotti said. “Not all the games, but some of the games. It’s great for Spanish football.”
Madrid will face Osasuna with just one available senior centre-back, Antonio Rüdiger, after David Alaba failed to recover from an abductor injury in time, with Éder Militão out long-term, and Nacho Fernandez suspended.
“Alaba isn’t back to his best so he won’t play tomorrow,” Ancelotti said. “We have three options, two of them are [Aurelien] Tchouameni and [Ferland] Mendy… We’ll adapt well. The defensive work is that of the team not individuals.”
Madrid go into the weekend top of LaLiga, a point clear of defending champions Barcelona, who travel to Granada on Sunday.