Real Madrid’s Ancelotti: Vinicius unfairly punished by refs
Carlo Ancelotti said referees have been too quick to book Vinicius Junior after the Brazil forward picked up his 10th yellow card of the league season in Real Madrid‘s 4-2 win over Almeria on Saturday.
Karim Benzema scored a hat trick at the Santiago Bernabeu — Vinicius providing the assist for his opener — and Rodrygo Goes added a fourth as Madrid bounced back from their midweek defeat at Girona by the same scoreline.
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Vinicius received a yellow card in the 37th minute, as referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez took issue with his response to a clumsy challenge by Almeria defender Houboulang Mendes.
“It’s quite surprising that he’s had 10 yellow cards this season,” coach Ancelotti said in his post-match news conference. “The dirtiest midfielder in the league doesn’t have 10 cards! [Vinicius] has to improve, but he’s been given too many cards, and not enough were given for the kicks he’s received.”
Ancelotti went on to imply that Vinicius’ often vocal complaints over the treatment he receives from opponents could be impacting referees’ decision-making.
“Complaining gets you a yellow card. But the referee is like a judge, that complaint can’t have an effect,” Ancelotti said. “The referee has to be very focused on the game. A complaint can’t affect what happens next. A referee can’t not give something because Vinicius has complained.”
Madrid’s front three of Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo impressed against Almeria, contributing all four goals, and Ancelotti was asked how they compare to the club’s legendary trio of Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who he coached from 2013 to 2015.
“It’s a good question,” Ancelotti said. “They’re similar in efficiency and quality. They have different characteristics, they’re different but they’re similar in efficiency. The 2014 trio was very dangerous and this trio is very dangerous.”
Madrid travel to Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Tuesday before their Copa del Rey final against Osasuna in Seville next Saturday, and a Champions League semifinal first leg against Manchester City three days later.
“We rested [Federico] Valverde today, he had a knock,” Ancelotti said. “We rested [Dani] Carvajal. Little by little, I’m thinking of resting players. Tuesday’s game is important and I’ll rest the players who are tired.”