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Ancelotti defends Vinícius Júnior amidst on-field persecution

Posted : 09 March 2024

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has passionately defended forward Vinícius Júnior, asserting that the player is treated worse on the pitch than any other he has coached in his career. Despite scoring Madrid's only goal in a 1-1 Champions League draw with RB Leipzig, Vinícius received a yellow card for shoving Leipzig captain Willi Orbán.


Ancelotti highlighted instances of Vinícius being subjected to whistles, insults, and even racial abuse by fans. The manager called for a change in attitude towards the talented player, emphasizing that Vinícius continues to deliver with goals and assists despite the challenges he faces.


Ancelotti also addressed the recent two-game ban imposed on midfielder Jude Bellingham, who was sent off after disputing a referee's decision in the 2-2 draw with Valencia. Ancelotti argued that the punishment was excessive, emphasizing that Bellingham's approach was not insulting, as stated in the referee's report. Despite the setback, Ancelotti expressed hope that Bellingham is not unfairly targeted, considering the midfielder's passionate yet common complaints on the field.


Regarding Madrid's performance in the Champions League second-leg draw with Leipzig, Ancelotti acknowledged a lack of intensity and focus. He suggested that having a small first-leg advantage may have affected the team's mindset, leading to a defensive approach. Ancelotti reflected on the challenge of preparing a team in such situations, citing similar occurrences in past competitions against Schalke and Chelsea.


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