Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista has apologised for his dangerous foul on Vinícius Junior, which will see him banned for two games after the Spanish football federation’s disciplinary committee added another game to his suspension on Friday.
Gabriel kicked at Vinicius’ legs after the Brazil forward got past him with the ball in the 72nd minute of Madrid’s 2-0 win over Valencia on Thursday. The kick sent Vinicius hard to the ground and earned the centre-back a direct red card. A scuffle between the teams followed.
Vinicius scored on a breakaway earlier.
Valencia coach Voro Gonzalez said Gabriel’s hard foul “wasn’t correct.”
The 14th-placed Valencia fired coach Gennaro Gattuso on Monday.
Gabriel apologized in a message posted on his Instagram account.
“I accept the criticism and the red card,” Gabriel wrote. “I am a physical player, but also a noble one. I respect Vinícius and it was never my intention to harm him. We are struggling a lot in this great club, going through a difficult period and emotions are running high.
“Sometimes it is impossible to control one’s emotions. I lost control and I sincerely ask for forgiveness.”
Vinicius was not injured and practiced on Friday for his team’s game at Mallorca on Sunday.
Madrid are in second place, five points behind leader Barcelona.