Referees do not penalize opponents for fouls

Vinicius Junior said referees don’t adequately punish opponents for fouling him after the winger scored in Real Madrid’s 3-1 comeback win over Espanyol in La Liga – but also received a yellow card himself.

Espanyol took an eighth-minute lead through Joselu on Saturday at the Bernabeu before Vinicius equalized and Eder Militao’s header gave Madrid the lead before substitute Marco Asensio scored a third goal in added time.

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Vinicius has scored 19 goals in all competitions for Madrid this season but has been targeted by opposing defenders who tried to influence his performances.

“Referees don’t give fouls or yellow cards,” Vinicius told ESPN. “Players can foul me 15 times and at the end, when the game is in the 88th minute, the referee gives a yellow card.

“The players have to think of a way to stop me and it’s going to be through this [committing fouls and not being punished], it becomes very easy for them. I don’t judge the players, but I judge the referees because they have to apply the rules correctly.”

Vinicius is the most fouled player in LaLiga this season, having been fouled 89 times – well ahead of second-placed Rayo Vallecano’s Isi Palazon at 66 – but himself has been shown eight yellow cards, often for complaining about his treatment by opponents .

“I’m not asking anyone to protect me,” he said. “No one has protected me in my life except for my teammates, my parents and the people who like me… I have to try to keep my head clear.

“Of course I make mistakes sometimes, I’m only 22 years old. I’ll make a lot of mistakes. But I want to make fewer mistakes and try to keep learning.”

Vinicius has been racially abused by fans on numerous occasions this season and has criticized Spanish football authorities for not addressing the issue.

“I wish it could end,” he told ESPN. “I wish I didn’t have to talk about it every time I do an interview. But it’s a very difficult subject.

“Perhaps some people who suffer from racism are not as calm as I am and do not have the support that I have. It can really hit people, but you have to keep a clear head.”

Real Madrid’s win over Espanyol left them six points behind leaders Barcelona at the top of the LaLiga table ahead of Barca’s game at Athletic Club on Sunday. Referees do not penalize opponents for fouls

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