BARCELONA – Another incident of racism in Spanish soccer marred Atletico Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Spanish striker Nico Williams reported that he was the victim of “monkey” sounds as he proceeded to take a corner kick during the first half at the Estadio Metropolitano.

Later, upon scoring Athletic’s goal, he appeared to respond to the insults when he turned toward the stands and pointed to his forearm in reference to the color of his skin.

“I heard monkey sounds,” Williams told the DAZN platform. “There have been a few, but there are dumb people everywhere. I hope it will all change little by little.”

Atletico captain Koke Resurreccion deplored the incident: “Atletico Madrid is in favor of Nico and against these situations,” he said.

The Spanish league has been unable to contain racist shouts against black players. Vinícius Júnior, Real Madrid’s Brazilian star, has been a constant victim.

The first trial against a fan accused of racist insults in Spanish soccer awaits a date. The case involves Iñaki Williams, Nico’s brother, who was insulted by an Espanyol fan in a match played in 2020.

“We have on every pitch a big education problem and we have to turn to this,” said Athletic coach Enresto Valverde. “It’s excessive, out of the loop, an issue that is out of the ordinary, we hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t quite understand it.


The win secured Atletico’s fourth place, six points clear of fifth-placed Athletic with five games to play.

The top four in La Liga qualify for the next edition of the Champions League.

Atletico’s first goal came from Argentine midfielder Rodrigo de Paul in the 15th minute with a shot that deflected off a defender and over the top of goalkeeper Unai Simon.

Nico equalized shortly before halftime, taking advantage of a poor pass from the colchonero star Antoine Griezmann that was intercepted by Iñaki. The attacker passed to Gorka Guruzeta, who laid the ball off for Nico to score.

Argentine Ángel Correa restored Atlético’s lead in the 52nd minute after recovering a ball in midfield.

Samuel Lino put the game to bed in the 80th minute with a shot that first hit a post and then rebounded off Simon.


Girona provisionally moved into second place after a 2-0 win away to Las Palmas. Barcelona would regain the second spot if they beat Valencia on Monday.

Girona’s goals came from defender David Lopez in the 26th minute and Artem Dovbyk in the 57th minute. The Ukrainian scored a penalty to consolidate his position as the tournament’s top scorer with 19 goals.

Paulo Gazzaniga, Girona’s Argentine goalkeeper, saved a penalty shot by Sandro Ramírez when the score was 0-0.


Mason Greenwood scored two goals and assisted the third as Getafe defeated bottom-placed Almeria 3-1 to move ninth in the table, one point ahead of Villarreal.

Giuliano Simeone, the son of Atletico coach Diego Simeone, scored his first goal since joining Alaves to help the Basque club beat Celta Vigo 3-0. Giuliano arrived on loan at Alaves last summer but broke his leg in the preseason and returned to action in January.

Celta are 17th, six points ahead of Cadiz in the relegation battle.

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