Madrid's Valverde waited for Villarreal player Baena in car park & punched him in the face
Real Madrid’s 3-2 loss to Villarreal on Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium was overshadowed by a post-match altercation between Federico Valverde and Alex Baena.
The Real Madrid attacker Valverde, 24, reportedly punched winger Baena, 21, in the face in the parking lot of the stadium.
The motive appears to have stemmed from a derogatory remark made by Baena in the previous match-up between the two sides in the Copa del Rey back in January, where, according to ESPN, Baena said to Valverde: “Cry now that your son is not going to be born,” referencing Valverde’s partner’s miscarriage scare.
In the same match, Baena also made a gesture towards the Uruguayan imitating him crying, which to no surprise, infuriated Valverde further.
🚨👊 Valverde waited for Baena in the car park after the R.Madrid-Villarreal game and punched him in the face.— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) April 8, 2023
This was due to Baena saying to Valverde last match: "Cry now that your son is not going to be born." — another comment was repeated like this today, reports @marca. pic.twitter.com/3bE7vmvMhT
It appears that another similar comment was made in last night’s loss which saw Real Madrid’s hopes of catching Barcelona for the LaLiga title diminish further, with 12 points still being the gap between the top two, having played a game more.
This led to Valverde deciding to wait by the Villarreal team bus after the match to confront Alex Baena, where he allegedly asked him to repeat what he had said on the pitch.
What has Baena said about the incident?
Baena has denied making these comments, and tweeted after the last night’s win: “Very happy with the team’s impressive victory in a venule like the Santiago Bernabeu, but at the same time very sad for the aggression I suffered after the game and surprised by what is being said about me. IT IS COMPLETELY FALSE THAT I SAID THAT.”
Muy contento con la impresionante victoria del equipo en un escenario como el Santiago Bernabéu, pero al mismo tiempo muy triste por la agresión que he sufrido tras el partido y sorprendido por lo que se está diciendo sobre mi persona. ES TOTALMENTE FALSO QUE YO DIJERA ESO. pic.twitter.com/PPHpf7xhK8— Álex Baena (@alexbbaena) April 9, 2023
When approached by Spanish outlet Marca, Valverde admitted that his ‘aggression’ towards Baena did occur, and his reasoning for it was that he was reacting to new comments that were made by the player.
What has Valverde said about the incident?
The full statement provided to Marca by Valverde’s entourage states: “In the Copa del Rey match, Baena kicked Fede and told him: ‘cry now that your son is not going to be born.’ That stayed there, but today he said another similar thing to him, and Fede got heated. So he waited for him in the parking lot and told him that he was ‘not messing with his family.’”
Valverde’s entourage went on to support him further by saying: “Fede never has problems with anyone and this has been for something very serious that comes from before.”
In a recently deleted tweet, Villarreal’s delegate Xisco Nadal called out Valverde by saying: “Fede valverde macarra y corbarde!”
‼️ Villarreal’s delegate Xisco Nadal has now DELETED his tweet calling: “Fede Valverde, a thug and a coward.”📲🚨 pic.twitter.com/NtOdQimNse— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) April 8, 2023
This translates to: “Fede Valverde a thug and a coward!”
Villarreal have explored possible courses of action by being in contact with the Spanish police. The decision now lays with Alex Baena on whether to press charges.
Despite this off-the-field altercation, Real Madrid must now pull together from this loss, and prepare for their upcoming Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea on Wednesday.