Football

Renato Sanches reacts to monkey chants from racist Rio Ave fans.

Renato Sanches reacts to monkey chants from racist Rio Ave fans

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Renato Sanches, one of European football’s most gifted young footballers, was subjected to disgusting racist abuse during Benfica’s 1-0 victory at Rio Ave on Sunday night.

Monkey chants could reportedly be heard from the home supporters - per 101 Great Goals - but Sanches remained focused and helped his side secure a huge three points.

The 18-year-old, who has already been capped twice by the Portuguese national team, only reacted as he walked off the pitch - imitating a monkey before walking off down the tunnel. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).

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While football is trying hard to combat racism, it’s clear that some countries still have their work cut out to eradicate the problem.

But you have to admire the reaction of Sanches, who was praised on social media after the match.

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Video: Renato Sanches reacts to monkey chants

Europe's big clubs all want Renato Sanches

Following Sunday’s sad scenes, Sanches might be even more tempted to quit Portugal for one of Europe’s top leagues.

According to a report in The Sun over the weekend, Manchester City have joined their local rivals Manchester United in the race to sign the right-footed box-to-box midfielder.

Pep Guardiola, who will replace Manuel Pellegrini in the summer, is an admirer of the Portuguese youngster and wants to bring him to the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

But the Catalan coach faces stiff competition from Jose Mourinho if, as is expected, he takes over from Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford this summer.

The Sun’s report adds that Mourinho has sanctioned a £40 million move for the star from Benfica, who rejected a £35 million offer from the Red Devils earlier this year.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is also understood to be keeping an eye on Sanches, while Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone praised the teenager earlier this year.

"He has a strong shot and good vision for someone in his position,” the Argentine coach was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo. “It's always nice to see good young players."

Sanches likely to leave Benfica

With so many big clubs competing for his signature, it’s difficult to imagine Sanches will still be plying his trade in the Portuguese top flight next season.

Where he goes next is likely to depend on first-team football guarantees and, crucially, money.

FBL-EUR-C1-BENFICA-BAYERN-MUNICH

But he will be hoping that Sunday was the last time in his career he is subjected to sickening racial abuse.

Similarities to the Dani Alves incident

The incident bears similarities to the situation Barcelona’s Dani Alves found himself in back in May 2014.

Villarreal were €12,000 by the Spanish Football Federation after one of their fans was found guilty of throwing a banana at the Brazil international.

Alves, deciding to make a joke out of the situation, took a bite from the banana.

Where will Renato Sanches be playing his football next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Topics:
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