- Real Madrid defeats Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in La Liga with goals from Benzema and Rodrygo.
- Vinicius Jr. receives support and solidarity after facing racial abuse.
- Real Madrid maintains second place in the league standings with 74 points.
On Wednesday, Real Madrid defeated Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in La Liga thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Rodrygo. The victory came in support of Vinicius Jr., who was once more the target of racial abuse over the weekend.
Vinicius, a Brazilian forward for Real, received an honour prior to the game after facing slurs of racism during the team’s 1-0 loss to Valencia on Sunday.
“We are all Vinicius” among many other messages of support for him, a sign that was put up behind one of the goals at the Santiago Bernabeu said, “Enough is enough.”
The Real team stepped onto the field, donning jerseys adorned with Vinicius’s number 20, while the team captains wore armbands displaying powerful anti-racism messages.
Vinicius, dressed in casual attire and displaying visible agitation, joined his teammates on the pitch amidst a resounding applause. Prior to the match, all the players stood together, posing next to an official LaLiga banner that boldly declared, “Racists, be expelled from football.”
Despite the red card he initially received at Valencia being overturned on Tuesday and the subsequent suspension being lifted, Vinicius was not included in the Real squad for this match.
According to reports from Spanish media, Vinicius was unable to participate in training prior to the match due to a knee problem. As a result, he watched the game from a seated position alongside Real Madrid President Florentino Perez.
Numerous Real Madrid supporters demonstrated their solidarity with Vinicius by donning his shirt and scarves at the stadium, sending a clear message that they strongly disapprove of the mistreatment he has been subjected to in Spanish stadiums.
A young fan held up a poster that read, “Vini, it’s my communion. Seeing you is my gift,” highlighting the heartfelt connection between the player and his admirers.
Real Madrid took the lead just after the half-hour mark, with Benzema seizing an opportunity from a Federico Valverde delivery on the edge of the penalty area and finishing from close range.
Raul de Tomas, a Rayo striker, levelled with six minutes remaining, but Rodrygo restored Real’s advantage in the 89th minute by beating keeper Stole Dimitrievski with a low shot from just beyond the area inside the right post.
Real, who has two games left, is currently in second place with 74 points, two points ahead of third-place Atletico Madrid, which will go to Espanyol later on Wednesday, and 11 points behind winners Barcelona.