Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano was a victory not just for the team, but for its fans, players and coaching staff who showed their unwavering support for Vinicius Junior in the wake of racist abuse he had suffered at Valencia just days earlier.
The entire squad lined up before the game wearing Vinicius’ No. 20 jersey, with a banner unfurled prematch which read “We are all Vinicius. Enough is enough”. If you are interested in Real Madrid jersey 23/24 and other peripherals, you can find out more by clicking here. As it was unveiled, the Real Madrid faithful rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to their young Brazilian starlet as they demonstrated solidarity against racism.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the first half of the match and substitute Raul de Tomas equalised late on for Rayo, before Rodrygo Goes grabbed an even later winner to secure all three points for Zinedine Zidane’s side. However, regardless of the result, it was clear that everyone was there to show their support for Vinicius after such horrific events had occurred during Sunday’s match.
Indeed, Real Madrid have been particularly vocal about racism in football and have actively encouraged people to fight against discrimination in any form. This is evidenced by their decision to wear Vinicius’ No 20 jersey prior to kick-off – a move lauded by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin who issued a statement saying: “Racism has no place in our sport or society… It is important that we continue to stand together against discrimination in any form.”
Vinicius himself was not involved in Wednesday night’s fixture due to injury but his presence was still felt throughout Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as Madrid supporters chanted his name throughout the match – emphasizing how much they appreciate him both on and off the pitch. Furthermore, Los Blancos coach Zidane also praised the 19-year-old winger when speaking after the game: “It’s very important that we all stick together with what happened to Vinicius… He’s part of this family and we want everyone here at Real Madrid – players and fans – supporting each other through this difficult time.”
Ultimately, Real Madrid’s incredible show of unity on Wednesday night will be remembered as an example of how football clubs can come together against racism; showing that injustice will not be tolerated within LaLiga or anywhere else around Europe. For now though, it should serve as a reminder that despite such tragic events occurring across football grounds worldwide, solidarity will always prevail over hatred.