Atletico Madrid fans have gone to extreme lengths to make their feelings known to the Real Madrid supporters ahead of their Copa del Rey clash this evening.
The city rivals will meet each other for the 231st time later tonight when they battle it out at the Bernabeu stadium to secure a place in the semi-final of the cup.
Atletico fans appear to have hung a Vinicius Jr effigy from one of bridges in the Spanish capital ahead of the derby. They accompanied the inflatable doll with a banner that reads: ‘Madrid hates Real Madrid’.
Atletico fans appear to have hung a Vinicius effigy from one of bridges within the city (above)
The Brazilian forward was previously targeted by Atletico fans, who allegedly called him a ‘monkey’, during their game at the Civitas Metropolitano on September 18, 2022
LaLiga have released a statement saying they ‘strongly condemn acts of hatred and intimidation against Vinicius Jr’. They have also promised to ‘investigate’ the matter and ‘convict’ those who are responsible.
Their statement read: ‘LaLiga strongly condemns acts of hatred and intimidation against Vinicius Jr. LaLiga, as in the past, will press for an investigation into the matter by relevant state security forces and bodies, seeking convictions for those responsible and requesting the most severe sentences.’
A close-up image of the Vinicius Jr effigy was posted on Madrid Zone’s Twitter account
Meanwhile, Atletico released the following statement: ‘Given the image that appeared today in various media outlets in which a message of hate was launched in the hours leading up to the game that will face Real Madrid tonight in the quarterfinals of the Copa de SM el Rey, Club Atletico de Madrid communicates:
‘That facts like this are absolutely disgusting and inadmissible and embarrass society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of people or institutions is resounding and unmitigated.
‘The rivalry between both clubs is maximum, but also respect. No individual, whatever his intentions or his colors, can stain the coexistence between different hobbies. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid it.
‘We do not know the author or authors of this despicable act, but their anonymity does not avoid their responsibility. We hope that the authorities are able to clarify what happened and that justice helps to banish this type of behavior.’
The Brazilian forward was previously targeted by Atletico fans, who allegedly called him a ‘monkey’, during their game at the Civitas Metropolitano on September 18, 2022.
LaLiga have released a statement saying they ‘strongly condemn acts of hatred and intimidation against Vinicius Jr’ following the incident
Vinicius didn’t score in Real’s 2-1 win on the night but he did dance alongside Rodrygo after his compatriot scored the opener.
Video footage appeared to show Atletico fans directing racist abuse at Vinicius Jr from within the stands as he celebrated with his team-mate.
The supporters were said to be making monkey chants and imitating the animal’s actions.
Vinicius Jr was also subjected to racist abuse during their clash with Real Valladolid in December 2022.
Video footage emerged of the Brazil international exiting the pitch during Madrid’s 2-0 victory as he was replaced by Luka Modric just two minutes before the end.
Vinicius celebrates Real’s opening goal scored by Rodrygo (left) during his team’s 2-1 victory in September – there is no suggestion any Atletico fans shown above racially abused Vinicius or were involved in hanging the effigy
An object was thrown at Vinicius Jr as he walked past the Real Valladolid supporters. The forward responded by kicking it back towards the crowd.
This lead to a vocal reaction from fans and monkey chants were heard in the video as Vinicius Jr continued to walk back towards the Madrid bench.
Shortly after the incident, LaLiga stated that they had filed hate crime charges to the ‘relevant judicial, administrative and sporting bodies’.
They released the following statement: ‘A criminal charge for hate crimes has been filed with the Valladolid Magistrates’ Courts, supported by audiovisual evidence gathered in the investigation carried out through images and audio clips published on open sources.
Vinicius was also subjected to vile racist abuse during their clash with Real Valladolid in 2022
‘LaLiga has also asked the Valladolid Magistrates’ Courts to transfer the complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Hate Crimes so that it can participate in the case.’
In the statement, the league said it would increase efforts to ‘eradicate any kind of violence, racism or xenophobia inside and outside stadiums’.
‘The number of LaLiga integrity officers present at matches where there is a risk of racist insults will be increased, in order to maximize detection and identification of this type of behaviour, which has no place in sport,’ the Spanish top flight added.
‘Furthermore, in stadiums where there is considered to be a risk of possible racist behavior in the stands, messages will be broadcast over the public address system and advertising hoardings surrounding the pitch to combat and condemn racism.’
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will head into this evening’s fixture with Atletico as favorites given they are sitting second in LaLiga – 10 points ahead of Diego Simeone’s side
The latest attack on Vinicius Jr came on Wednesday evening when an inflatable doll wearing the striker’s shirt was hung from the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.
The doll was accompanied with a red and white banner that read: ‘Madrid hates Real’ ahead of this evening’s Copa del Ray clash between Atletico and Real Madrid.
The fixture between the two Spanish rivals will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid and will kick-off at 3:00 pm ET.
Vinicius Jr will be looking to add to his goal tally during the game – having already found the back of the net 11 times for Real Madrid this season.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will head into this evening’s fixture as favorites given they are sitting second in LaLiga – 10 points ahead of Diego Simeone’s side.