Internally, we are assured that OM defender Alvaro Gonzalez has “digested” the controversy that followed the September clasico. After this victory (1-0), the first for the Marseillais in nine years, Alvaro’s reputation was tarnished by Neymar. In a furious tweet, the Brazilian star accused the Spaniard of calling him a “monkey” in added time, during a confused altercation, triggered by a foul by Dario Benedetto on Leandro Paredes.
“Alvaro discovered that it was a lollipop when we took the plane”, slips a source near the Olympian locker room. The players then decided to take a photo – awkward – to defend their stopper. Alvaro Gonzalez poses surrounded by all his colored teammates. In the picture, the Spaniard smiles, a hand on the shoulder of Bouna Sarr, one of his friends in the locker room.
On landing in Marseille, he discovers that his tweet, in which he claims to have a “clean career”, did not calm the ardor of the supporters supporting Neymar. Insults rained down on social networks and the player’s relatives were also subjected to insults and intimidation. Alvaro, who has since changed his number, has even been threatened with death. He filed a complaint.
The pillar of Marseille’s defense
“He suffered from what happened,” comments soberly his coach, André Villas-Boas. Because Alvaro felt a strong sense of injustice: according to OM, Hiroki Sakai suffered racist abuse from Neymar. Valentin Rongier had also pointed the spitting of Angel Di Maria in the direction of the defender of OM. But now, the Marseillais are instructed not to bring up the case any more.
Nemanja Radonjic smiled when the subject was broached on Monday at a press conference. As if to say: “I was expecting that one!” “He sent his answer in a few words:” There are always stories like that around big games, it’s normal in football. Alvaro is not a racist. “And” always very motivated “for the matches, with or without revenge to be taken.
The controversy had no impact on his engagement. On the other hand, it may have weighed on his level of play: he completely missed the next match, against Saint-Etienne (0-2), before gradually regaining his usual strength. This part of the team remains the pillar of defense. He has also received some pre-calls from Spain coach Luis Enrique.
“The players will be very attentive, very vigilant”
This Monday, in training, we saw a united front during jogging. Leonardo Balerdi and Dario Benedetto framed, shoulders to shoulders, their teammate. Marseille players will protect him this Wednesday evening (9 p.m.) at the Bollaert stadium. “We think he will be provoked to death, we worry about OM. The players will be very attentive, very vigilant, if the Parisians try to distract him. “
In front of their screens, Marseille supporters will encourage him. The relationship between Alvaro and OM fans was initially cooled by the accusations. But he managed to convince several leaders of fan groups at a meeting. Two weeks after the clasico, several associations supported him, in particular with a banner: “Contigo siempre” (always with you). And it is certain: the “fadas” of OM will be at Marignane airport if Alvaro helps Marseille to win their first title in nine years.