Joao Felix hit out at the latest racist taunts towards "friend" Vinicius Junior and suggested his detractors are jealous of what the Real Madrid star can do on the pitch.

Social media footage showed racist insults being shouted at Vinicius during Madrid's 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca on Sunday, marking the latest in a string of similar incidents this season involving the 22-year-old.

Portugal forward Joao Felix, on loan at Chelsea from Atletico Madrid, says he cannot fathom the abuse being directed at Vinicius.

"I don't understand the criticism of Vinicius," he told AS. "Maybe it's because he's better than the others, maybe because he does dribbles that others can't, because he's fast like others aren't, he scores goals, gives assists.

"He is in a very good moment and it seems that all people are against him. I am friends with him, I talk to him and I like his football... it's his football, it's fun, I like it and I don't understand the criticisms.

"It's a shame that racism issues are included. There are ways of criticising without getting into that topic."

Joao Felix departed Atleti for Stamford Bridge on a temporary deal in January, with reports suggesting he had fallen out with Colchoneros boss Diego Simeone, though the player only had kind words for the Argentine coach.

"Everyone knows him, everyone knows what he won," he said. "He is a very good trainer. He has his way of understanding and seeing football that others don't. This is good for some and bad for others. That depends on them, but he has his virtue and that makes him a good coach."

After receiving a red card on his debut for Chelsea at Fulham, Joao Felix is set to make only his second appearance for the Blues on Saturday when they travel to West Ham.

The 23-year-old has been impressed by the club since arriving, praising the structures that have helped him to settle in London.

"It is a great club, as we all know," he said. "The structures are very, very good, they have everything. There are a lot of people around the team so that everything is fine and that makes a difference. It is very well-structured."

Joao Felix was one of eight players signed by Chelsea in the January transfer window, with Enzo Fernandez among those acquired in a deal worth around £106million (€121m). 

Having also moved from Benfica for a large sum in 2019, Joao Felix has backed Fernandez to live up to his price tag, saying: "It is becoming more and more normal for amounts like this to be paid. Football has changed, and it will be common for 80, 90, 100, 110m to be paid.

"He deserves the money because he is a young player, he is very good and has a lot of room to evolve. He will surely be one of the best midfielders in Europe."

Manchester City reportedly view Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell as a potential answer to their left-back problem and will investigate a move at the end of the season.

Chilwell, 26, was purchased from Leicester City for a £50million fee prior to the 2020-21 campaign, and he enjoyed immediate success at Stamford Bridge. In his first season with the club, all 27 of his Premier League appearances came in the starting line-up, and he also played a full 90 minutes in their Champions League final triumph over City.

Unfortunately, the England international with 17 senior caps has been plagued by injuries since, with a serious knee injury this past season followed by a long-term hamstring injury early in the current campaign.

Chilwell returned from his hamstring issue with a brief appearance off the bench against Fulham on February 3, and if he can prove his fitness down the stretch then he could prove the perfect replacement for Joao Cancelo after his shock departure on loan to Bayern Munich.

TOP STORY – CITY IDENTIFY CHILWELL AS POTENTIAL CANCELO REPLACEMENT

The future of Cancelo with City is looking bleak after he was shipped off to Bayern following reports of a training ground dispute with boss Pep Guardiola, and Caught Offside claims the club are already looking at long-term solutions in his position.

Fabrizio Romano writes that "Chilwell is one of the players who has been appreciated by Manchester City for years" – but adds the Englishman is just one name on a shortlist of left-back options to pursue when the season wraps up.

Chilwell's five-year contract with Chelsea ties him to the club until 2025, but the report states the addition of Marc Cucurella has made him more expendable if the price is right.

ROUND-UP

– According to 90min, Chelsea have made 24-year-old Napoli striker Victor Osimhen their top forward target, and he is expected to cost in excess of £100million (€110m).

– The Daily Mail is reporting Tottenham will look to sign new centre-backs at the end of the season, and have taken a liking to 22-year-old Crystal Palace talent Marc Guehi, who may be available for a fee of around £45million.

– According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona will join a long list of elite clubs – including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Inter – in the pursuit of 25-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram. The France international will become a free agent after the season, and his father Lillian Thuram spent two seasons with Barcelona before retiring.

Inter will work to secure 29-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku on either a permanent deal or another loan from Chelsea next season at a lower cost, per Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Football Insider is reporting Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United are all interested in 18-year-old Birmingham City midfielder George Hall, who some are calling "the next Jude Bellingham".

Joao Mendes – the son of Barcelona legend Ronaldinho – will join the Blaugrana following a successful trial, club president Joan Laporta has confirmed.

Former Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldinho enjoyed a successful five-year spell with Barca between 2003 and 2008, helping the Catalan giants win two LaLiga titles and the Champions League, while he now serves as a club ambassador.

And his 17-year-old son, who previously played for Corinthians, is set for an opportunity to follow in his father's footsteps, having departed Cruzeiro to embark on his trial with the Blaugrana.

"We are really happy Ronaldinho — and his brother [Roberto Assis] — thought of Barca to continue his son's career," Laporta said.

"He's very young and he's training with us, but we will give him a contract. There are a few things to finalise, but we are very happy with him.

"The pressure on the boy is great, because Ronaldinho has been one of the best in history. The son has pressure, but it's the job of our coaches to develop his skills."

Meanwhile, director of football Mateu Alemany says the club are still confident of signing Julian Araujo, having narrowly missed out on landing the LA Galaxy defender during the January transfer window.

"He is a footballer that we have been following for a long time that due to circumstances – due to a failure of the FIFA system – it could not be closed," he said.

"The famous 18 seconds. He was a footballer who would play for second team. We are looking for a solution, via [the] CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] or to play in another team for the next five months and then join."

Argentina's World Cup-winning boss Lionel Scaloni and Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti are among the finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Coach Award 2022.

The duo are listed alongside perennial candidate Pep Guardiola of Manchester City in the final three, with the latter named as a finalist for the third time.

Scaloni, who finished fourth last year, took La Albiceleste to victory at Qatar 2022 and is recognised for his efforts in helping to seal a first World Cup triumph since 1986.

Ancelotti is feted for his work with Madrid, after winning a continental double and becoming the first manager to win all five major European league titles.

Guardiola guided City to another Premier League triumph, though he fell short in the Champions League once again and saw his team's main rival Liverpool nab the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

The Spaniard will be looking to go one better than his previous two appearances as a finalist in the voting, having finished second in 2019 and third in 2021.

Among those included in the final three for The Best FIFA Women's Coach Award, England boss Sarina Wiegman picks up a sixth consecutive nod in the category.

The Lionesses manager, a two-time winner of the prize, led the team to a maiden major honour triumph at Euro 2022, securing victory against Germany on home soil.

She is joined by Brazil boss Pia Sundhage – the Swede having claimed Copa America Femenina glory – and Lyon's Sonia Bompastor, who won the treble with the French side.

The winners of The Best FIFA Football Awards will be announced on February 27.

 

Javier Tebas accused European Super League organisers on Thursday of prowling like a cunning wolf and trying "to fool" those at the heart of football.

The president of Spain's LaLiga scoffed at newly announced plans for a competition featuring 60 to 80 teams spread across several divisions, guaranteeing clubs 14 games per season.

He had predicted in November that such a proposal was coming and was scornful then.

Now Tebas says the European Super League is only interested in how it might serve to benefit the rich clubs, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus the three teams who remain subscribed to the proposed new competition.

A similar proposal to the latest Super League concept was put forward in 2019, on that occasion by UEFA and the European Club Association, when it appeared the Champions League may become more of a closed shop.

However, that did not get off the ground, and if Tebas has his way, nor will this.

"The Super League is the wolf, who today disguises himself as a granny to try to fool European football," Tebas wrote on Twitter, "but HIS nose and HIS teeth are very big.

"Four divisions in Europe? Of course the first for them, as in the 2019 reform. Government of the clubs? Of course only the big ones."

A similarly dismissive statement posted to the LaLiga Corporativo Twitter account read: "The Super League is the wolf in the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

"It is disguising itself as an open and meritocratic competition, but underneath there is still the same selfish, elitist and greed driven project. Don't let their tales fool you."

The European Super League venture is being driven by the A22 group, led by CEO Bernd Reichart, after its previous April 2021 launch ended in calamity and humiliation, with nine of the 12 clubs pulling out almost immediately after a thunderous backlash.

Those were Premier League giants Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, LaLiga's Atletico Madrid, and Serie A clubs Milan and Inter.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta continues to back the controversial plans, which many in the game claim will cause lasting damage to domestic competitions.

Laporta said on Thursday: "It is progressing. It will be an attractive, sustainable competition, respectful of the health of the players.

"What we want is for the dialogue with UEFA not to break, and to harmonise with the national leagues. We must establish a deeper debate to coexist with the domestic leagues, as the Champions League coexists with the leagues.

"All to the point that the promoters of the Super League will have the right to organise competitions. It evolves. It is in progress.

"We are committed to the Super League project and to the sustainability of European football. We cannot compete with domestic clubs, nor with the Premier League, which allocates seven billion to the competition... there are comparative grievances.

"What commits us is the sustainability of football. We are three big clubs and we don't want to leave UEFA aside. It will be done in agreement with UEFA. We are not going through the path of rupture, we are going through the path of dialogue."

The Football Supporters Association, representing fans in England and Wales, accused European Super League backers of wilful ignorance towards fans.

It said: "The walking corpse that is the European Super League twitches again with all the self-awareness one associates with a zombie.

"They say 'dialogue with fans and independent fan groups is essential' yet the European Zombie League marches on – wilfully ignorant to the contempt supporters across the continent have for it."

Lionel Messi's relationship with Barcelona is unaffected by comments made by the legendary forward's brother, according to club president Joan Laporta.

Matias Messi suggested in a question and answer session on streaming platform Twitch that "no one knew" Barca prior to his younger sibling's trophy-laden spell at Camp Nou.

The 40-year-old also said he would make sure to "kick out Laporta" as part of a "good cleaning" in the boardroom if his brother ever returned to the Catalan heavyweights.

He posted an apology on his Instagram account on Wednesday, stating he "was just joking with my son and friends", but the comments did not go down well at Barca.

However, speaking at a press conference on Thursday to discuss Barca's latest accounts, Laporta insisted those remarks will not impact Messi's status at the club.

"I take away the importance of anything said by his brother," Laporta said. "He has since apologised. I don't think about it any more.

"It doesn't affect the relationship [between Messi and Barcelona] at all.

"I don't want to comment on a player from another team any further out of respect.

"Leo Messi is forever part of Barcelona and we are proud of that. He is the best in the world and the best in history."

Messi scored a club record 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barcelona across 17 seasons as a first-team player, during which time he won 35 trophies.

The Argentina international departed for Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021 and his famed number 10 shirt has since been inherited by fellow academy player Ansu Fati.

Fati has been linked with a move away from Barca in recent weeks, with Manchester United reportedly interested, but Laporta ruled out an exit in the next transfer window.

"Right now we are not considering it," he said. "I cannot predict the future, but Ansu Fati is a player with whom we have great hopes. 

"It all depends on whether he remains useful for the club and for [head coach] Xavi. He has a lot of expectations on him and we are not willing to sell the player at this time.

"We have no news that the player wants to leave, and we will continue to do what suits the club."

Laporta also confirmed Ousmane Dembele is not for sale, while captain Sergio Busquets's future beyond the end of this season when his contract expires is still unknown.

Barcelona, who are eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga, are back in action on Sunday with a trip to Villarreal.

Former Barcelona and Spain winger Marcos Alonso Pena, the father of current club left-back Marcos Alonso, has died aged 63.

Known as Marcos during his playing days, the former Blaugrana man played over a hundred games for the Camp Nou club between 1982 and 1987.

He also enjoyed spells with Racing Santander and Atletico Madrid either side of his time with Barca, and was a full Spain international, like his son.

In a statement, Barca expressed sadness at Marcos' death and passed on their support to their defender and his family.

"FC Barcelona would like to express its deepest condolences for the passing of former Barca player Marcos Alonso Pena," they wrote.

"All of our strength to Marcos Alonso and his entire family. Rest in peace."

Making his debut with Racing 1977, Marcos followed in the footsteps of his own father Marquitos, a former Real Madrid defender, in turning to football.

A move to Atletico followed before he first arrived at Barcelona in 1982, where he amassed multiple honours, including LaLiga and Copa del Rey success in a five-year spell.

He later returned to the Rojiblancos, before a brief spell at Logrones and a final return to Racing.

At international level, Marcos won 22 caps for Spain and was an unused squad member at Euro 1984, when La Roja finished as runners-up.

To mark his passing, a minute of silence was held at Barca president Joan Laporta's press conference on Wednesday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's return to the Premier League has not gone as he would have planned.

The striker headed back to England after a promising stint in Barcelona, adamant he had a point to prove following a rather acrimonious split with Arsenal.

But the man who secured his arrival – Thomas Tuchel – was soon sacked, and his replacement – Graham Potter – does not appear to be particularly taken with Aubameyang.

If that was not already clear, then removing him from their Champions League squad in order to make room for new signings certainly did. The writing is on the wall.

TOP STORY – AUBAMEYANG OFF TO MLS

According to France's Le10 Sport, Aubameyang is "very close" to leaving Stamford Bridge. His next destination? Los Angeles.

The report suggests Los Angeles FC and Chelsea have already reached an agreement, and with Aubameyang's situation seemingly pretty clear in the Premier League, his exit looks likely.

Aubameyang will move to MLS on loan, thus allowing the Blues to save on a significant chunk of his wages – not that money is tight at Chelsea, as their January dealings showed.

ROUND-UP

- The Athletic reports Chelsea remain locked in contract talks with N'Golo Kante, but Tuttomercato says Juventus are monitoring the situation.

- Sofyan Amrabat was a standout player for Morocco at the World Cup and was heavily linked with Barcelona in January. He ultimately stayed with Fiorentina, though it was not for a lack of trying. According to Mundo Deportivo, he offered to play for free for the rest of the season.

- Leeds United earned a commendable point at Manchester United on Wednesday, but they still need to get a new manager. Onda Cero claims the club have been dealt a blow on that front, with Rayo Vallecano head coach Andoni Iraola opting to stay put.

- Inter's financial situation remains precarious, so which club are they turning to in the hope of easing those worries? Why, Chelsea of course! Tuttosport says sporting director Piero Ausilio has been in London discussing the sale of Denzel Dumfries to the Blues. Trevoh Chalobah could move the other way.

- Another tricky pre-season awaits off the pitch for Barcelona given their own financial uncertainty: LaLiga says they need to get €200million off the wage bill. Some clubs might be licking their lips at the prospect of potentially coming in for their prized assets, though Mundo Deportivo reports they will not entertain the idea of selling Frenkie de Jong – Manchester United were keen on him last year.

World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez faces competition from Thibaut Courtois and Yassine Bounou to land The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper Award.

Five goalkeepers were originally nominated for the award, which recognises the most outstanding goalkeeping performance in men's football during the period between August 8, 2021 and December 18, 2022, when Martinez helped Argentina win the World Cup for a third time.

Brazil's Premier League duo Alisson and Ederson missed out on the final shortlist following a vote held among the coaches and captains of international teams, as well as journalists and fans.

Martinez's immense contribution to Argentina's World Cup final win against France put him among the frontrunners for the prize, which will be handed out at a FIFA award ceremony in Paris later this month.

The 30-year-old made a crucial save to deny Randal Kolo Muani an extra-time winner in an epic 3-3 draw, before keeping Kingsley Coman's spot-kick out as Argentina won a penalty shoot-out.

Bounou also impressed in Qatar, helping Morocco become the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals and matching Martinez's tournament-high tally of three clean sheets.

Courtois, meanwhile, made his biggest impact in the club game, helping Real Madrid win a Champions League and LaLiga double last term.

The Belgium international made 59 saves and kept five clean sheets during Los Blancos' successful Champions League run, recording an impressive save percentage of 80.56 per cent across his 13 appearances as they captured their 14th European crown.

Courtois made nine saves in the final as Madrid saw off Liverpool 1-0 in Paris.

Life is good at Manchester United right now – and it might be about to get better.

Erik ten Hag has guided United to third in the Premier League, perhaps still in title contention, while they will face Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final.

Rivals Manchester City and Liverpool are facing various crises, and United's ambitions moving forward could be boosted by a lucrative takeover.

After making only loan signings in January as the Glazer family consider selling up, the outlook at Old Trafford might be about to change entirely.

TOP STORY – QATARI-BACKED MAN UTD BID DUE IN DAYS

According to the Daily Mail, a group of Qatari investors plan to buy United and give manager Ten Hag "the financial backing to lead the club back to the top".

The Glazers set a deadline of mid-February for bids, and an offer from the group is expected in the coming days.

The report says the group are confident their bid would "blow the competition out of the water".

This interest in United follows on the back of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the investors eager to secure ownership of "the crown jewels" of the footballing world.

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting Manchester City's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is at risk of being torpedoed by their potential financial breaches.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, Cristiano Ronaldo's team Al Nassr have offered 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets a contract worth €18million per season.

Manchester United and Liverpool will both make a run at Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani, who impressed for France at the World Cup, per L'Equipe.

– Calciomercato is reporting Juventus will likely allow striker Dusan Vlahovic to leave at the end of the season if they receive a bid in the range of €90m.

– According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United have made 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison a key target.

Carlo Ancelotti suggested Spanish football has a "problem" with racism after Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior was abused again on Sunday.

LaLiga launched an investigation on Monday after social media footage showed racist insults being directed at Vinicius during Madrid's 1-0 defeat at Real Mallorca on Sunday.

The 22-year-old was subjected to racist abuse in both of Madrid's matches with city rivals Atletico Madrid this season, while LaLiga filed hate crime charges to Spanish courts after similar incidents in December's game with Real Valladolid.

Vinicius accused LaLiga in December of "doing nothing" to combat racism, and his head coach feels Spanish football must face up to the issue.

"The question I ask is this: What is the problem?" Ancelotti told reporters. "Vinicius? Vinicius' team-mates? What's the problem? To defend himself? What does Vinicius have to defend himself against? What do his team-mates have to defend themselves against? I don't know.

"It seems like the problem is Vinicius, but the problem is what happens around him. Period.

"It is a problem of Spanish football. I am a part of Spanish football and I think it's a problem that we have to solve. Because it seems that Vinicius is the culprit, but he is the victim of something that I don't understand."

Federico Valverde defended Vinicius' exuberant playing style after he was fouled 10 times against Mallorca – the most by any Madrid player in a Spanish top-flight match since Isco against Real Betis in August 2013.

Vinicius has won 79 fouls in LaLiga this season, 25 more than any other player, and Valverde feels Madrid's players must stand up for him to counter any opposition roughhouse tactics.

"He is an incredible person, with a lot of values," Valverde said ahead of Madrid's Club World Cup semi-final against Egyptian side Al Ahly on Wednesday. "On the pitch, he tries to enjoy it, that's the way he is.

"I always say that so many fouls on the pitch is part of the game, we have to defend him as team-mates.

"Another thing is racism and what happens on the pitch, [there is] so much anger. He is a 22-year-old boy. I think Vinicius deserves respect."

Manchester United will reportedly aim to sell Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Alex Telles after the season to fund the purchase of a new marquee talent.

The Old Trafford side are said to be investigating a number of targets expected to cost in excess of £100million, including Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, Tottenham talisman Harry Kane and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

United are very familiar with Premier League stars and England internationals Kane and Rice, while Osimhen has enjoyed a rise to prominence this season with the Serie A leaders.

With 16 goals in 17 league appearances this campaign, the 24-year-old Nigerian has already set a new personal best goal tally, and he has been one of the driving forces for a Napoli team sitting 13 points clear at the top.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IDENTIFY LIKELY SALES TO FUND NEW SIGNING

According to the Manchester Evening News, Telles, Maguire and Martial have all been identified as players United would like to cash-in on to at least partially pay for a new £100m signing.

That report states Kane and Osimhen are the primary targets, as well as Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos and Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus.

Meanwhile, Talksport adds that United had a £100m bid for Rice turned down by West Ham before the season, but that he could be pried away at the end of the campaign for £120m plus add-ons.

United are willing to pay £107m (€120m) for Osimhen, and they expect competition from Chelsea, per The Express.

 

ROUND-UP

– AS is reporting United are interested in 29-year-old Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco. Barcelona have the option to purchase the Belgian for €20m, but if they pass, Atletico will listen to offers from the Premier League.

Paris Saint-Germain will rival Barcelona in the pursuit of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, per Le10Sport.

– According to The Athletic, Real Madrid believe Jude Bellingham will choose the Premier League if he leaves Borussia Dortmund. 

– 90min is reporting Chelsea are scouting 23-year-old Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa as they look to address the position at the end of the season.

Inter have added 25-year-old Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo to their list of potential replacements for outgoing centre-back Milan Skriniar, per Tuttomercatoweb.

Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois have been left out of Real Madrid's squad for Wednesday's Club World Cup semi-final against Al Ahly.

Captain Benzema sustained a leg injury in last week's 2-0 LaLiga win over Valencia and the striker subsequently missed Sunday's shock 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca.

Goalkeeper Courtois suffered a groin strain during the warm-up of that defeat to Mallorca, which leaves Madrid trailing leaders Barcelona by eight points.

Neither player travelled with the Madrid squad to Moroccan capital Rabat on Monday, while Eder Militao, Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy and Eden Hazard were also absent.

Key men Benzema and Courtois still have a chance of being fit for Saturday's final against either Flamengo or Al Hilal, should Madrid overcome Egyptian side Al Ahly.

Los Blancos, who have won the competition four times in the past eight seasons, also have a Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at Liverpool in a fortnight. 

Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets is a major doubt to face Manchester United next week after the LaLiga leaders confirmed he sprained his ankle against Sevilla.

Busquets was injured inside four minutes of Barca's 3-0 LaLiga win at Camp Nou on Sunday after being caught by Youssef En-Nesyri and was substituted off soon after.

The 34-year-old, who has played in 27 of Barcelona's 31 games this season, underwent a scan on Monday that revealed he has a lateral collateral ligament sprain in his left ankle.

While no official timeline has been given for Busquets' return, the former Spain international is reportedly facing at least two weeks on the sidelines.

That would rule Busquets out of LaLiga games against Villarreal and Cadiz, either side of the first leg of Barca's Europa League knockout play-off round with United on February 16.

Barca travel to Old Trafford the following week, before concluding this month's fixtures with a trip to Almeria in the league.

Busquets' future at Barca beyond this season remains unclear, with head coach Xavi reiterating this week the midfielder will have the final say on whether he stays or leaves.

Xavi's side are now eight points clear at the top of LaLiga, with their routine win against Sevilla coming shortly after Real Madrid's shock 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca.

LaLiga has launched an investigation after Vinicius Junior was again the target of "intolerable" racist abuse in Real Madrid's defeat at Real Mallorca on Sunday.

Social media footage showed racist insults being shouted at Vinicius during Madrid's 1-0 loss at Son Moix, marking the latest in a string of similar incidents involving the Brazilian this season.

Vinicius has been subjected to racist abuse before and during both of Madrid's meetings with cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid this season, while individuals were charged after similar incidents occurred at December's fixture against Real Valladolid. 

A statement released by LaLiga on Monday read: "Given the events that occurred in the RCD Mallorca-Real Madrid match, in which once again intolerable racist insults were observed against Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior, LaLiga is putting all the technical means at its disposal and working with the local club to identify those responsible, with the aim of taking the appropriate legal measures.

"LaLiga firmly condemns what happened and, as on previous occasions, will file the necessary complaints and appear in person to continue fighting, within its powers, against any type of racist act, behaviour or incident.

"LaLiga has spent years fighting against this kind of behaviour and promoting the positive values of sport, not only on the pitch, but also off it."

The league also called for supporters with any knowledge pertaining to the events to get in touch via a dedicated email address. 

In December, Vinicius took to social media to accuse LaLiga of "doing nothing" to combat racist abuse from the stands, comments which drew a response from league president Javier Tebas.

Tebas described Vinicius' complaints as "unfair and untrue" on Twitter, adding: "I've been fighting racism for years. We are at your disposal so that together, we can walk in the same direction."

In the build-up to Madrid's Copa del Rey win over Atletico last month, social media images showed a mannequin, wearing a Vinicius shirt, hung by the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.

Both clubs and the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) condemned the incident, with Los Blancos describing it as a "repugnant act of racism, xenophobia and hatred".

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