Real Madrid have reached a personal agreement with Jude Bellingham on a six-year contract. The Spanish Royal team is also almost finished negotiating the transfer fee with Dortmund. Specifically, Real will spend 100 million euros, excluding surcharges for this deal. It is expected that as soon as this season’s Bundesliga ends, the English star will immediately go to Madrid for a medical check-up.
Bellingham is an undeniable talent, even one of the most impressive England players at the last 2022 World Cup. But going to Spain to play still has many potential risks for this midfielder. Especially when racism in the country of bulls is becoming alarming, after what happened recently with Real Madrid striker Vinicius Jr.
In the match Real Madrid lost 0-1 at Valencia in round 35 of La Liga, when Vinicius was sent off by the referee with a red card in stoppage time, there were screams in the stands of the Mestalla stadium: “You monkey, you damn monkey, get out, get out…”. This incident was like the last straw, prompting Vinicius to write on Twitter: “This tournament was once for Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi… now it’s racist”.
The police were forced to intervene after being pressured by the public, 7 people believed to be the masterminds and incites of racist acts on the Mestalla stadium were detained for investigation. According to the statistics of the country’s media, this is the 9th time Vinicius has become a victim of racists. Four months ago, Atletico fans also hung an effigy of the Real Madrid striker on a bridge in Madrid, with insults aimed at his skin color.
Bellingham needs to look into that to prepare himself. Maybe Real Madrid will welcome him with a grand debut, with warm applause from those in attendance. But behind that is not heaven. As a black player, it is likely that he will soon suffer the same fate as Vinicius, will be “attacked” by racist insults.
Unlike in other top European leagues, Spanish football does not have specific sanctions to protect players from racism. Even the president of the La Liga organizing committee, Javier Tebas, is also vague about this. That’s why when he heard Vinicius complain about being racist, he posted a quite innocent explanation: “The words aimed at Vinicius on Valencia’s field are not racist. Maybe he was too sensitive.”
Even the head of La Liga said that, then black players like Vinicius or Bellingham are coming to expect protection. In an interview a few days ago, when referring to racism in the stands during La Liga matches, Atletico coach Diego Simeone had to exclaim: “It’s not anymore Football’s own story. Spaniards need to consider such racist acts as a social evil.”
Vinicius is so brave, so talented, he can’t stand the insults aimed at him, and is intending to leave Real Madrid in the summer transfer window this year. What’s more, Bellingham is only 19 years old, has not experienced similar things, and does not know if he has the courage to overcome the attacks of racists. Therefore, the English midfielder’s “migration” to Madrid is not necessarily a wise choice.
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