Alex Baena, a 21-year-old winger for Villarreal, has recently come forward to report that he and his family have been receiving death threats after claims were made that he “wished harm” on the family of Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde. Baena was allegedly attacked on his way to the team bus after the game, with reports suggesting that Valverde was the offender.
In a statement on Monday, Baena said that no evidence has been published to prove the accusations made against him, and that his family has been subjected to insults and death threats. He went on to explain that someone had taken advantage of a misfortune to justify the attack, and that lies were being spread which were more hurtful than punches.
Villarreal released a statement on Sunday confirming Baena’s version of events and expressing their firm belief in him. They also stated that they reject any act of violence and will be supporting him throughout the process. Real Madrid and Valverde have yet to comment on the situation.
The incident occurred after Samuel Chukwueze scored twice, including a stunning late winner, to give Villarreal a victory which dealt a further blow to Real Madrid’s fading title hopes. Baena’s statement has since brought attention to the issue of violence in football and the need for greater protection of players.