'I'm not proud' - Ex-Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista issues grovelling apology after red card tackle on Vinicius Jr that led to mass scuffle

Gabriel Vinicius Junior 2022-23Getty
  • Gabriel sent off against Real Madrid
  • Shown red for Vinicius kick
  • Has apologised for his challenge

WHAT HAPPENED? Gabriel has apologised after being sent off during Valencia's 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid at Mestalla. Goals from Marco Asensio and Vinicius Jr sealed the win for Los Blancos, while Valencia ended the game with 10 men after Gabriel was shown a red card for a hack at the Brazilian. Gabriel has now apologised for his tackle and insisted he was not trying to hurt the Real Madrid forward.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I accept the criticism and the red card, I'm not proud. I'm a forceful player, but a noble one. I respect Vinicius and it was never my intention to hurt him. We are suffering a lot at this great club, experiencing a very difficult situation and feelings are near the surface," he wrote on Instagram. "Sometimes it's difficult to control my nerves. I didn't control them and I apologise from the bottom of my heart. I'm sorry fans. We're going to continue fighting until the end to reverse this situation. Let no one doubt us."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Valencia are enduring a turbulent campaign and saw manager Gennaro Gattuso sacked ahead of the game against Real Madrid. Gattuso had managed just five league wins from his first 18 in charge of Los Che. Voro Gonzalez has taken over as caretaker boss in the meantime but the defeat to Real Madrid has left them down in 14th place, just a point above the relegation places.


Gabriel Paulista 2022-23GettyGabriel Paulista red card Valencia Real Madrid 2022-23Getty

WHAT NEXT? Gabriel can expect to be hit with a ban for his tackle which will force him onto the sidelines and add to Valencia's problems. Los Che take on Girona on Sunday in La Liga, while Real Madrid head to Real Mallorca.

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