Real Madrid’s Rodrygo: Take action on racism

Real Madrid’s Rodrygo Goes has told ESPN he’s tired of talking about racism in Spanish football because no real decisions have been taken to tackle the problem.

The forward’s Madrid and Brazil teammate Vinícius Júnior received support from around the world after being subjected to racist abuse from the crowd during a LaLiga game at Valencia on May 21.

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Vinícius is due to give evidence in court via videolink in September in the case of three fans accused of racially abusing him.

“I want to believe that [it won’t be a problem this season] but we know that it’s difficult,” Rodrygo told ESPN. “I’m sure it will happen again. It isn’t right, but I’m not going to lie and think that something will change because everyone stopped and got involved [in the issue], because we know it isn’t like that.

“We’re already tired of talking, of doing this and that, and [seeing that] it doesn’t change. Now it’s a subject that I don’t even like talking about, because I know it will always be the same.”

The Mestalla incident was the eighth time during the 2022-23 season in which LaLiga had reported racist abuse of Vinícius by fans to the authorities.

It sparked a reaction from fellow players, football’s governing bodies and politicians, with the league calling for changes to Spain’s sports laws to enable it to issue punishments directly, rather than passing cases onto prosecutors and the Spanish football federation.

“Of course [I’ll keep taking a stand],” Rodrygo said. “Even more so because I’m Vini’s teammate, I’m there at his side, and I’m Black too, I have to take part.

“But as I’ve said, we always talk and talk, but no real decisions have been taken. So I think that’s why these things still exist.”

Rodrygo’s club coach Carlo Ancelotti has been repeatedly linked with the Brazil national team job, being named by CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues as his preferred candidate, but has a contract at the Bernabeu until June 2024.

Fluminense coach Fernando Diniz was appointed to the position on an interim basis this month, on a one-year contract.

“It took me a little by surprise because everyone was saying ‘Ancelotti, Ancelotti’ and then out of nowhere they announced Diniz,” Rodrygo told ESPN.

“I didn’t know. But I like what everyone has said about Diniz. I know him from the few times we’ve met, we’ve spoken, I’ve never worked with him, but a lot of people say he’s great.”

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