Valencia's Paulista suspended 2 games for foul on Vinícius
MADRID (AP) — Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista will miss two games for his dangerous foul of Vinícius Júnior after the Spanish soccer federation’s disciplinary committee added another game to his suspension on Friday.
Paulista kicked at Vinícius’ 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 center back a direct red card. A scuffle between the teams followed.
Vinícius scored on a breakaway earlier.
Valencia coach Voro González said Paulista’s hard foul “wasn’t correct.”
Paulista will miss Sunday’s game versus Girona in La Liga and the following round’s match against Athletic Bilbao.
The 14th-placed Valencia fired coach Gennaro Gattuso on Monday.
Paulista apologized in a message posted on his Instagram account.
“I accept the criticism and the red card,” Paulista 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.”
Vinícius was not injured and practiced on Friday for his team's game at Mallorca on Sunday.
Madrid is in second place, five points behind leader Barcelona.
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The Associated Press