Gabriel Paulista labels Valencia fans ‘the BEST’ and DEFENDS them after Vinicius Jnr was racially abused… as the former Arsenal defender wrongly tries to claim fans were only calling Real Madrid forward ‘silly’
- Gabriel Paulista has credited Valencia fans after their win over Real Madrid
- The match was marred by racist abuse that was aimed at Real winger Vinicius Jnr
- Gabriel defended his club’s supporters despite them being accused of racism
Gabriel Paulista has come under fire for crediting Valencia supporters inside the Mestalla stadium during Sunday’s victory over Real Madrid as ‘the best’.
Paulista heaped praise on his club’s fans, despite Madrid winger Vinicius Jnr being racially abused by home fans at times throughout the match.
The Brazilian has been subjected to racism in Spain previously and was allegedly abused by Valencia supporters who chanted discriminatory slurs aimed at the Madrid star.
The young talent was visibly upset and infuriated after being sent off late in the match during an altercation with rival forward Hugo Duro.
But former Arsenal defender Paulista defended Valencia supporters after the game.
Gabriel Paulista has defended Valencia supporters after Sunday’s victory over Real Madrid
Vinicius Jnr (right) was racially abused by sections of Valencia fans throughout the match
Paulista wasn’t available for selection as he serves a suspension.
But he posted an image on Sunday evening of the home crowd captioned with the quote: ‘Mestalla, you’re the best’.
The 32-year-old insists he was referencing the atmosphere being generated by the near 50,000 strong crowd.
However, he didn’t condemn the disgraceful racism Vinicius had to endure.
Paulista shares the same Brazilian nationality as Vinicius but has never made a senior appearance for the South American nation, with his last call-up coming in 2015.
He later sought to clarify his original comments by posting another update where he cast doubt on the apparent monkey chants that were directed at his countryman.
Posting on Instagram, he added: ‘The whole stadium calling a person ‘silly’ is very different from ‘monkey’.
‘If there was someone who was racist, they have to pay, yes. My post was for the victory, and the fans were fundamental.’
Vinicius (centre) was upset during the game after pointing out he was being racially abused
Paulista posted on Instagram on Sunday evening where he labelled Valencia fans ‘the best’
Vinicius complained about his treatment on social media in the immediate aftermath of the match and claimed LaLiga ‘belongs to the racists’ in a damning statement.
Meanwhile, Paulista’s club did issue an update where they stated they will ban those supporters who racially abused Vinicius for life.
Real Madrid have begun legal action against the ‘hate crime’ following their defeat at the Mestalla.
Los Blancos will now wait to see the next steps that unfold.
However, LaLiga president Javier Tebas sought to downplay the nature of the incident and labelled Vinicius’ justified criticism as ‘unfair’.
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