Ex Barcelona Goalie Tells Vinicius to 'Mature in Behaviour and Have More Respect' Amid Racist Abuse

Ex Barcelona Goalie Tells Vinicius to 'Mature in Behaviour and Have More Respect' Amid Racist Abuse

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
  • Pepe Reina believes Vinicius Junior bears some responsibility for the increase in racist incidents he has endured since 2021
  • The ex-Barcelona goalie recently added his name to an exclusive list of those who have achieved 1000 career appearances
  • Vini was racially abuse during Real Madrid's clash against Valencia shortly before he was red-carded for hitting an opponent

Former Barcelona and Liverpool goalkeeper, Pepe Reina has appeared to chide Vinicius Junior, who was racially abused at the Mestalla Stadium during a La Liga match last week.

Vini became the centre of controversy during Real Madrid's league game against Valencia, which degenerated into chaos laced with racial slurs.

Pepe Reina, Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid, racism
Pepe Reina advised Vinicius to act maturely and show more respect to rival fans. Photo credit: @brfootball/Twitter Jose Jordan/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

According to CNN, the racial incident on May 21 was the 10th reported incident of racist abuse aimed at the Brazilian forward during a La Liga match since 2021.

In a space of four days, the police have made seven arrests, prompting Spain's Football Federation (RFEF) to initiate a fresh anti-racism campaign and impose a partial stadium closure at Valencia.

Additionally, La Liga officially advocated for the granting of sanctioning powers to enhance the fight against racism amid a global outpouring of support for Vini Jr.

However, veteran Spanish goalie, Pepe believes the 22-year-old is partly to be blamed for the spike in racist attacks he has suffered since 2021.

"Vinícius? The less you provoke the rival fans and the less you protest to the referee, the more respect you will have from everyone," Pepe said, as quoted by Madrid Xtra.

Pepe's advice for Vinicius Jr

The 40-year-old also offered guidance to Vini, who has undeniably been Real Madrid's standout player this season:

"He's becoming one of the best in the world, but I think he must mature in behaviour and have more respect for his rivals."

At the age of 40, Reina joins an esteemed group of footballers who have amassed over a thousand career appearances, a list that includes renowned names such as Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas, and Roberto Carlos, This Is Anfield reports.

Vini blasts La Liga

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Vini has lambasted La Liga authorities, after releasing a new statement citing the various times he has had to battle racist abuse in the league.

The 22-year-old Brazilian received sympathy from stakeholders around the globe when he was subjected to more racism during Real Madrid’s La Liga tie with Valencia on May 21.

Vini revealed he had even received death threats across various cities in Spain, also claiming the authorities in the European country had done nothing to address these issues.