More must be done to combat 'massive' racism problem - Bellingham

Bellingham: More needs to be done about racism in LaLiga (1:20)

Jude Bellingham says more needs to be done by those in charge to tackle the "disgusting" racism in LaLiga and support the players that have been abused. (1:20)

Jude Bellingham said Vinícius Júnior and other Black players need more support in dealing with the "massive problem" of racism in Spanish football, describing the abuse some players receive as "disgusting."

TV images showed a fan making racist gestures toward Bellingham's Real Madrid teammate Aurélien Tchouaméni after scoring in Saturday's 1-0 LaLiga win at Real Mallorca, with the home side saying they are working with police to identify the individual responsible.

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Vinícius has been targeted with racist abuse by opposition fans on numerous occasions, including during a league game away at Valencia last season that sparked a global outcry on the issue.

"I didn't even know [about the Tchouaméni incident]," Bellingham said when asked about the problem during a news conference Tuesday. "In games when we go away in LaLiga, you almost get so used to it that I wasn't even aware of the incident. That's a massive problem.

"More has to be done, whether it's the punishment or how you react to it, or how you move proactively. It's a horrible way for a player to have to prepare for a game, knowing they'll probably get racially abused. It's disgusting, it shouldn't happen. People in power need to do more, especially with Viní.

"The blame gets shifted more onto him with his playing style, and the way he likes to express himself, and I don't think that's fair. The game would miss Viní if he decided to take a break because of this kind of thing. More needs to be done to support these kinds of players."

Bellingham was speaking ahead of Madrid's Champions League quarterfinal second leg away at Manchester City on Wednesday, after the two teams drew 3-3 at the Bernabéu last week.

In last season's semifinal, Madrid were heavily beaten 4-0 in Manchester after drawing the first leg. "I spoke to some of the lads [about that game]," Bellingham, who joined Madrid last summer, said.

"It wasn't nice. I've been on the end of big losses as well, ones that feel painful, and you can understand their frustration but I think you have to regulate that emotion.

"It's a new game, we don't start 4-0 down, regardless of what anyone thinks. It's an even score going into the second leg. The lads have spoken a bit about it, but they're professional enough to let that be the past, and we're ready to attack the next game."

Bellingham has scored 20 goals in his debut season for Madrid, including four in the Champions League, but his rate of scoring has dropped off in 2024 with just three goals this calendar year.

"I started the first half of the season really well," Bellingham said. "I think the main thing that killed my rhythm a bit was the injury more than anything, against Girona [on Feb. 10]. When you miss so many games, you still feel a bit uncomfortable.

"Finally I got over that feeling of the pain in my ankle, I play against Valencia, score what I thought was a perfectly good goal and got suspended [after being sent off for disputing the decision to disallow the goal]. ... It's definitely affected my rhythm.

"At the start of the season I was playing every game consistently, I felt it was very clear what I was doing, and a few times in the last couple of months my role has changed slightly. ... I'm doing more work for the team, which I absolutely don't mind doing, but maybe I lose that effectiveness on the pitch. It's up to me to regain that."

Coach Carlo Ancelotti said he was confident Madrid could progress by winning away at City for the first time in their history.

"Nothing makes me lose sleep," Ancelotti said. "I'm very confident in my team and my players, and what we've done this season. ... Statistics are made to be broken."