Real Madrid have called on authorities to hold those responsible for the abuse of Vinicius Junior to account.

Madrid host rivals Atletico Madrid in a Copa del Rey encounter on Thursday.

In the build-up to the match, pictures were shared on social media showing a mannequin, wearing a Vinicius shirt, hung by the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.

This was condemned by Atleti, who released a statement saying: "Such acts are absolutely repugnant and inadmissible and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved."

Madrid have now joined their neighbours in condemning what they label as a "repugnant act of racism, xenophobia and hatred".

A statement read: "Real Madrid would like to thank you for the support and expressions of affection received after the regrettable and repugnant act of racism, xenophobia and hatred against our player Vinicius.

"We would like to express our strongest condemnation of these acts which are an attack on fundamental rights and the dignity of people, and which have nothing to do with the values that football and sport represent.

"Attacks such as those suffered by our player, or those suffered by any sportsperson, have no place in a society such as ours

"Real Madrid trust that those who have participated in such a despicable act will be held accountable."

The Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) also joined in the condemnation.

"The CBF vehemently repudiates the racist acts suffered once again by Vinicius," a statement read.

"Intolerance and discrimination are not part of sport and must be eliminated from society. We hope that those responsible are identified and punished under the law."

LaLiga called for a full investigation to be launched and criminal sanctions issued against guilty parties.

Carlo Ancelotti says Luka Modric and Toni Kroos understand the need to refresh Real Madrid's midfield after the duo found themselves on the bench for last week's win at Athletic Bilbao.

Modric and Kroos were introduced as late substitutes during Madrid's impressive 2-0 win at San Mames on Sunday, with the former Germany man making the points safe with a fine long-range finish.

Modric's tally of 17 starts in all competitions this season has been bettered by team-mates Federico Valverde (24), Kroos (21) and Aurelien Tchouameni (18), while no Madrid midfielder has made more total appearances than Eduardo Camavinga's 27.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Copa del Rey quarter-final against rivals Atletico Madrid, Ancelotti said the experienced players in his squad understood the nature of Los Blancos' transition.

"They are professionals and understand the quality of this team," he said of Modric and Kroos. "I don't need to explain why they don't play. 

"They understand it very well, we talked about it in pre-season. Now is a time of transition for this team. 

"The veterans must have understanding and young players must have patience. That has been key to success in the squad. They are all motivated.

"They [Modric and Kroos] can still play together, I don't have a single doubt. They contribute a lot and will continue to contribute during this season. They are always decisive."

Ancelotti is yet to decide who will start in the engine room against Los Colchoneros, who triumphed in a two-legged tie when the rivals last met in the domestic cup back in 2015.

Asked about possible changes in midfield, the coach said: "It could be a part of the rotation that we have to take on for this game. Tomorrow we have to put together the best possible team, and that's what we'll try to do."

The last meeting between the clubs was marred by racist abuse directed towards Vinicius Junior, audible before and during Madrid's 2-1 win at the Civitas Metropolitano in September.

Vinicius was on the receiving end of several heavy challenges against Athletic last time out, and Ancelotti wants the winger to be afforded greater physical and mental protection. 

"It is a subject that we are concentrating on," Ancelotti said. "The player is in good physical condition, and mentally you have to protect him. 

"It's very important. Football needs Vinicius, who has an extraordinary talent. You have to protect the physical and mental aspects. He is very motivated and eager to contribute."

Meanwhile, with reports continuing to suggest Ancelotti is a contender to coach Vinicius in international football by taking the vacant Brazil job, the Italian insisted he had not received any proposal from the Selecao.

"So far, we haven't been in touch," he said. "If that contact ever takes place, I will let you know."

Xavi was "in a state of shock" following news of former Barcelona star Dani Alves being arrested on suspicion of carrying out a sexual assault.

Brazilian right-back Alves was arrested in Barcelona on Friday after it was alleged he assaulted a woman in a nightclub bathroom.

The 39-year-old denied committing the offence when he spoke to Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 in early January.

Alves, who has also played for Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla, gave a statement to the Mossos d'Esquadra police force on Friday before the public prosecutor's office requested that he should be detained and not granted bail.

He has been kept in prison while investigations continue, and his contract with Mexican club Pumas UNAM has been terminated.

Xavi, a former Barcelona team-mate of Alves, signed the defender for a short second Barcelona stint last season.

Speaking in a Barcelona pre-match press conference on Saturday, Xavi said: "It is difficult to comment on a situation like this. I am surprised, shocked, in a state of shock.

"It is a matter of justice. Justice will dictate whatever."

Alves became the oldest player to feature in a World Cup match for Brazil when he played against Cameroon in Qatar last month.

Pumas UNAM have terminated Dani Alves' contract after the former Barcelona defender was arrested on sexual assault charges.

Alves was arrested in Barcelona on Friday after it was alleged he sexually assaulted a woman in a nightclub bathroom.

The 39-year-old, who became the oldest player to feature in a World Cup match for Brazil when he played against Cameroon in Qatar last month, has denied assaulting the woman.

According to widespread reports, Alves – who has also played for Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla – gave a statement to the Mossos d'Esquadra police force before the public prosecutor's office requested that he should be detained and not granted bail.

Spanish news agency EFE reported how that application, plus a private prosecution brought by the woman who made the allegation, would be put to the investigating judge to determine whether Alves is kept in prison while investigations continue.

Subsequently, Pumas confirmed on Friday, via a short statement on their website and a media briefing from club president Leopoldo Silva, that they had terminated Alves' contract.

Alves joined Mexican side Pumas in 2022 after his second spell at Barca came to an end.

Dani Alves was arrested on Friday by police in Barcelona after it was alleged he sexually assaulted a woman in a nightclub bathroom.

The former Barcelona and Brazil right-back gave a statement to the Mossos d'Esquadra police force before the public prosecutor's office requested that he should be detained and not granted bail.

Spanish news agency EFE reported how that application, plus a private prosecution brought by the woman who made the allegation, would be put to the investigating judge to determine whether Alves is kept in prison while investigations continue.

Alves, 39, has also played for Paris Saint-Germain, Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla, and returned for a second spell at Barcelona last season, before joining Mexican team Pumas UNAM.

The incident under investigation is alleged to have happened on the evening of December 30.

In a video sent to Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 earlier this month, Alves denied assaulting the woman.

Richarlison felt Brazil's World Cup quarter-final defeat to Croatia was "worse than losing a family member".

Pre-tournament favourites the Selecao won Group G and thrashed South Korea 4-1 in the round of 16 to raise hopes they could be crowned champions for the first time since 2002.

But their campaign came to a halt at the quarter-final stage in Qatar, losing on penalties to Croatia after Marquinhos and Rodrygo were unable to tuck away their spot-kicks.

The loss sparked emotional responses from a number of players with Neymar, who had given Brazil an extra-time lead before Bruno Petkovic's equaliser sent the game to penalties, left in tears on the pitch as Croatia celebrated their victory.

Richarlison told ESPN: "It was a blow, I don't know. I think it's worse than losing a family member.

"It was difficult to recover. To this day, when I watch videos on my social networks, it makes me sad.

"But we have to move on. I'm still young, I think I still have one or two World Cups to go. I will keep working hard so that things start to flow again, the goals start to come out, which is what I know how to do on the field."

Despite the disappointing end to the tournament, it was a strong World Cup for Richarlison, who was Brazil's top scorer with three goals.

The Tottenham forward's bicycle kick against Serbia won the goal of the tournament award and has also been nominated for the 2022 Puskas Award, handed out by FIFA to the best goal of a calendar year.

"Our goal was to be champion. I scored a beautiful goal, but I think that goal, let's say, was not my goal," Richarlison added. "We went there to raise the cup. 

"But I'm also happy to have scored that great goal, even running for the Puskas. I was happy, because I think a lot of people started to know me more. It was very important in my career."

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho is set to take over as the next boss of Brazil, according to former Selecao international Carlos Alberto.

Brazil are on the lookout for a new head coach after Tite stepped down, as planned, following Brazil's disappointing defeat to Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals last month.

Mourinho is one of a number of names reportedly in the frame, while the 59-year-old has also been touted as a possible target for Portugal following Fernando Santos' departure, though Roberto Martinez seems to be the frontrunner for that job.

Carlos Alberto, who won the Champions League under Mourinho at Porto, says he has been offered the chance to work alongside the Portuguese as part of Brazil's coaching staff.

"I was going to drop a bomb here, but I can't," he told the Mundo GV podcast. "Maybe [Mourinho] is the coach of the Brazilian team. I'm speaking first hand. It's information.

"It doesn't matter where the information comes from, I'm giving you the information... because he even invited me [to be his number two]."

Mourinho led Roma to the inaugural Europa Conference League title last season – the Italian side's first European trophy in more than 60 years.

That was Mourinho's fifth continental triumph, with the former Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter, Manchester United and Tottenham boss having won both the UEFA Cup/Europa League and Champions League on two occasions.

Roma are sixth in Serie A after winning just one of their five matches either side of the World Cup break. They did fight back to draw 2-2 with Milan at San Siro on Sunday, however.

Speaking last week, Roma director Tiago Pinto insisted he expects Mourinho – under contract until the end of next season – to stay on at Stadio Olimpico.

"When you get a coach like Mourinho, you must be accustomed to rumours," Pinto told La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

"This was the first time in 18 months that a club or a federation were interested in him. We had no distractions at our training camp in the Algarve, we were only focused on work. 

"I am Portuguese and every time we change coach, Mourinho is mentioned, but we count on him for the future."

Kylian Mbappe has accused Noel Le Graet of disrespecting Zinedine Zidane after the French Football Federation president's dismissive response to suggestions the former Real Madrid coach could join Brazil.

On Saturday, it was announced Didier Deschamps had signed a new four-year contract as France head coach, allowing him to lead Les Bleus at a fourth World Cup in 2026.

Former France talisman Zidane had been linked with his country's top job on several occasions, including in the aftermath of their World Cup final defeat against Argentina last month.

However, with that position set to be occupied for the foreseeable future, Zidane has been suggested as a potential candidate to succeed Tite as Brazil's head coach.

Asked about speculation linking Zidane with the Selecao on Sunday, Le Graet told RMC he did not "give a toss" where the 1998 World Cup winner went and added he would not answer the phone to the former midfielder.

Those comments attracted criticism from star player Mbappe, who wrote on Twitter: "Zidane is France, we don't disrespect the legend like that..."

Zidane has been out of work since leaving Madrid in 2021, having led Los Blancos to three Champions League triumphs and two LaLiga titles across two spells at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Brazil have paid tribute to former striker Roberto Dinamite following his death aged 68 on Sunday.

The late forward, who netted 25 goals across his Selecao career, was a member of the national set-up between 1975 and 1984.

Though a prominent player at international level, the forward was best known for his lengthy association with Vasco da Gama.

Save for a brief spell with Barcelona in the middle of his career, he spent his entire playing tenure in Brazil, and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) offered a tribute to him across the weekend.

"With regret, the CBF mourns the death of Roberto Dinamite, one of the greatest athletes in Brazilian football," it wrote in a statement.

"For the Brazilian national team, the former player scored 25 goals and was top scorer in Brazil's [second-place campaign at] the 1983 Copa America.

"He also played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups. You will always be part of our football history. Thanks for everything, Roberto. Rest in peace."

CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues also offered his condolences, adding: "Roberto Dinamite was one of the greatest players in the history of our football.

"In addition to joining Vasco's beautiful history, he enchanted football fans all over the world. The CBF sympathises with the goalscorer's family and fans."

Roberto Dinamite holds the record as all-time top scorer in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, Brazil's top flight, with 190 goals.

His passing comes just under a fortnight following the death of fellow Selecao legend Pele, who passed away aged 82 last month.

Zinedine Zidane saw an obvious route back into coaching blocked off when France elected to stick with Didier Deschamps, raising the question of where the former Real Madrid boss could end up.

News came through on Saturday of a new deal for Deschamps that keeps him with France through to the 2026 World Cup.

Had Deschamps been unable to agree terms with the French Football Federation, or elected to walk away after his team's World Cup final penalty shoot-out defeat to Argentina, it seemed Zidane would have been the obvious choice as his successor.

Now, however, he must wait for the chance to coach his country, if it ever arrives, but Zidane should not give up hope of working at the top level in international football.

According to former Brazil playmaker Juninho Pernambucano, coaching the Selecao would be a "perfect" role for the 50-year-old former Ballon d'Or winner.

It has been a long-standing tradition for only Brazilians to be head coach of their national team, but ex-Lyon star Juninho thinks an exception should be made for Zidane.

Tite stepped down after Brazil's World Cup quarter-final exit, creating the current vacancy.

"Football is a democratic sport. Everyone can participate, although the priority will always be a coach from your country, who knows the local football," Juninho told French broadcaster RMC.

"But if today you don't have a name that is unanimous in Brazil, why not look outside? But you can't take someone outside because you're going to propose a huge contract."

Juninho floated the name of Fernando Diniz, who is head coach of Fluminense and "makes his team play in an incredible way".

Unlike Zidane, however, Diniz has yet to win major silverware as a coach.

"I see Zidane as the perfect coach for Brazil," Juninho added.

Speaking in October, Zidane, who has won three Champions League titles as a coach, said he was looking to get back into work.

He had been linked with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, and club opportunities may be presented now it is clear he will not be stepping into the France job.

"Do I miss the coaching suit? No, I'm not far away," Zidane said. "We're waiting, we're waiting a little bit. Soon, soon."

Cape Verde is to rename its national stadium after Pele, following FIFA president Gianni Infantino's professed desire to have every nation name a venue after the late forward.

The Brazil star, who passed away last month aged 82, was the only man to win the World Cup three times and remains arguably the greatest footballer of all time.

Speaking at the attacker's memorial earlier this week, Infantino called on each federation member to name a stadium for Pele, to honour the mark he left on world football.

Now Cape Verde will rename its 15,000-seater Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde, located just outside the capital Praia, as the Pele Stadium, per the country's prime minister Ulisses Correia e Silva.

"As a tribute and recognition to this figure that makes us all great, I manifest the intention of naming our national stadium as Pele Stadium," he said in a statemeFacebook.

"[This is] an initiative that, I believe, will be followed by several countries around the world.

"With the physical disappearance of Edson Arantes de Nascimento, King Pele, who soon became a planetary figure, it is now our wish to pay tribute to him.

"Cape Verde and Brazil have a history and culture that go hand in hand, considering they are two sister countries, linked by language and very similar identities.

"Pele was and always will be a reference in Brazil, in our Portuguese-speaking countries and in the rest of the world, being an idol that links several generations."

Pele, whose Brazil tally of 77 goals remains a joint-record for the men's national team, was laid to rest on Tuesday following a procession.

The road surrounding Rio de Janeiro's world-famous Maracana stadium will be renamed in honour of Pele, city mayor Eduardo Paes announced.

Paes said the road known as the Avenida Radial Oeste – West Radial Avenue – would be named Avenida Pele, and declared it would be confirmed formally by the city on Wednesday.

That led to suggestions the renaming did not go far enough, however, and that the road should instead be titled Avenida Rei Pele – King Pele Avenue.

Paes did not disagree, asking his 691,000 followers: "What do you think?"

He put the matter to a poll on Twitter. After 13,200 votes on the ongoing poll, some 89.6 per cent of voters preferred it to be named as Avenida Rei Pele.

News the road would be renamed came on the day Pele was to be laid to rest in Santos, the Sao Paulo municipality where the three-time World Cup winner spent his club playing career.

Pele's death at the age of 82 was announced by his family last Thursday.

The Maracana is Brazil's most iconic stadium, staging the 1950 and 2014 World Cup finals and the 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Its official name is the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, named after a journalist who campaigned in the 1940s for its construction.

In March 2021, it was widely reported the Maracana would be renamed the Edson Arantes do Nascimento – Rei Pele Stadium, incorporating Pele's full name.

That change has not come to pass, however, with the proposal vetoed a month later by Rio's then acting governor Claudio Castro.

Pele's final journey through the streets of Santos saw thousands turn out on Tuesday to bid farewell to the man they knew as 'King'.

The Brazil great's death at the age of 82 was announced last Thursday, with the three-time World Cup winner having suffered from cancer.

He was moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to treatment, and his death has been felt deeply across the country.

Santos, a municipality close to Sao Paulo, is the city in which Pele spent his entire club career and far beyond.

He was the superstar of the Santos team, whom he represented from 1956 to 1974, scoring 643 goals in 659 matches and resisting opportunities to move to leading European teams.

A 24-hour wake began on Monday, with fireworks set off and flags waved in his honour, and the celebration of his life continued as his coffin left the Vila Belmiro stadium to travel through the city, before heading to the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica.

That is a vertical, high-rise cemetery, with Pele due to be laid to rest on its ninth floor, at a site that overlooks the Vila Belmiro.

Santos City Hall said over 230,000 people had filed past Pele's coffin while it lay at the stadium, and crowds gathered outside as it left.

The cortege travelled along the beach front, with his coffin resting on top of a fire engine, draped in a Brazil flag.

Many walked alongside and behind, with Santos flags waved and applause by long-time admirers.

The coffin passed by the home of Pele's 100-year-old mother.

On Santos beach, overhead shots showed a view of a message inside a heart, etched onto the sand, reading: "Pele will be eternal."

Pele would have surpassed the achievements of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had he played in the modern era.

That is according to Jocky Scott, who faced the Brazil great in the final competitive game of his career in 1977.

Pele, who died last week aged 82, ended his remarkable playing career with a two-year stint at the North American Soccer League's New York Cosmos, helping them triumph in 1977's Soccer Bowl against the Seattle Sounders before hanging up his boots.

The three-time World Cup winner's abilities are often compared to those of modern greats Messi and Ronaldo, as well as the legendary Diego Maradona, but former Scotland forward Scott believes he should be recognised as the greatest to play the game.

"I think you've got to recognise different eras in football, and over the last 10 or 15 years with Ronaldo and Messi, they deserve the accolades they get for being the best players," Scott told Stats Perform. 

"But I think they're the best players of this era, or have been the best players of this era. 

"They are now coming to the end of their careers. Someone else will take on that mantle over the next 15 or 20 years but in my opinion, I will always say Pele is definitely the best player."

Scott added Pele would have achieved even more had he enjoyed the advantages of modern football.

"I think he would be better," Scott said.

"To be honest, I think any player like Pele, [Diego] Maradona, George Best, [Johan] Cruyff – attacking players who are great individuals and can all score goals – nowadays, with the way the game is played where you're virtually not allowed to tackle anybody, I think they would be much, much better players.

"Physically, he was a strong man and when you look back at pictures, way back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he played both in Santos and for Brazil, he got some abuse on the pitch.

"He used to take a hell of a lot of abuse, but he would still be there after 90 minutes and he would still shrug them aside and score the goals he scored.

"When I came up against them [the Cosmos] in America, that was in 1977. Pele at that time would have been 36, his physique was unbelievable. He could still play. In my era, he was the best player in the world."

While Scott was unable to prevent Pele from ending his stint in New York with a 2-1 win, he did manage to nutmeg the Cosmos man during their meeting – a moment he continues to cherish. 

"It's not something you think about during the game. It's just a case of there's an opponent, get the ball and get past them, and he pulled me back and fouled me," he said.

"Anybody at home that sees this picture and has a word with me about it, I just laugh and tell them I nutmegged him and that was him getting his own back, pulling me back and he didn't like it. 

"It doesn't matter who it was it but at the end of the day, it was a great picture for me."

Gianni Infantino has asked each country to name one stadium after Pele in a tribute to the Brazil great.

Pele, the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player, passed away last week aged 82.

Brazil entered a national period of mourning after Pele's death.

Pele's coffin was placed in the centre circle at Urbano Caldeira Stadium in Sao Paulo, the home of his former club Santos, and FIFA president Infantino was in attendance on Monday.

"We are going to ask that all countries in the world have at least one stadium with the name of Pele," Infantino told reporters in Brazil.

"[This will be] so that children know Pele's importance [to the game of football]."

Naming a sporting venue after a former player is not an uncommon occurrence, with such examples as Hungary's Puskas Arena and the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

However, it is more unusual for a venue to be named for a player outside their native country, though again not implausible.

Serie A side Napoli renamed their home ground the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in memory of the Argentina great following his death in 2020.

South Korea's Gwangju World Cup Stadium meanwhile was named after Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who took the nation to a fourth-place finish at the 2004 World Cup.

Pele, whose 77 goals for Brazil stands as a joint record, is set to be laid to rest on Tuesday.

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