Villarreal star Alex Baena addresses Fede Valverde incident – ‘We know what Real Madrid are like’

Villarreal midfielder Alex Baena has addressed a reported altercation with Real Madrid star Fede Valverde last season for the first time publicly, and defended his character over slanderous claims made about him, in his view.

During a clash between Villarreal and Real Madrid in January of 2023, Baena allegedly made comments about Valverde’s unborn child while on the pitch, according to several Madrid-based outlets, at a point when there was concern over the child’s health. This did not transcend until the following April, the two met again at the Santiago Bernabeu, when Valverde allegedly punched Baena as the latter was headed towards to the Villarreal team bus in the car park.

Baena appeared the following day with a black eye, and the incident was reported to the police, but was dropped due to inconsistencies in the evidence. Meanwhile the Competition Committee decided against suspending Valverde based off of the legal decision.

Speaking on Cadena SER, Baena explained that he was caught in the eye of the storm against one of the most powerful institutions in sport, namely Real Madrid led by President Florentino Perez, and the connections they both command.

“I have not spoken to Valverde again. They were very hard months personally. It affected me in my life, in football and my family. We already know what the press is like there, the club, the one in charge… It is what it is, it is what I had to suffer, But as I said, it’s in the past.”

The 22-year-old categorised those reports about what he said to Valverde as a lie.

“A lie was told, they used it for what happened. It hurt me more for my family, who were harassed on social networks and other places for a long time. [Last time] We saw each other in the game and nothing happened, we played like two professionals and the matter was closed.”

Certainly at the moment it remains one word against another’s, and both are fairly serious character blotches if true. Neither has let it impact their football this season, with Baena leading the assist charts in La Liga, and Valverde arguably the best midfielder in Spain this season. The former also declared a desire to play for Barcelona, which would see the pair meet in even more tense conditions.

Tags Alex Baena Fede Valverde Florentino Perez Real Madrid Villarreal
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