After Real Madrid’s 3-2 LaLiga loss to Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, sources have confirmed to ESPN that Federico Valverde hit Alex Baena of Villarreal. According to insiders, the Uruguayan midfielder became enraged after Baena allegedly made disparaging remarks about his unborn kid.
After the game, Valverde approached Baena in the stadium’s parking lot and demanded that he repeat what he alleged had been spoken on the field. He waited beside the Villarreal team bus. Prior to additional tests revealing that the pregnancy was in fact healthy, Valverde’s partner Mina Bonino announced on social media in February that the couple had initially thought they had lost their kid.
Real Madrid and Valverde claim that Baena first said “weep, because your child won’t be born” during their Jan. 19 Copa del Rey match, which both players started and which Madrid rallied to win 3-2 after falling down 2-0.
Sources claimed both Villarreal and Baena thought Valverde’s actions on Saturday were improper, although neither have acknowledged that assertion. The representative for the Villarreal squad, Xisco Nadal, tweeted on Saturday, “Fede Valverde, loutish and cowardly.”
According to sources, Villarreal has discussed potential courses of action with Spanish police; Baena will determine whether or not to file charges. The 24-year-old Valverde joined Real Madrid in 2016 and has since emerged as an important player.
On Wednesday, the first leg of the club’s Champions League quarterfinal matchup will take place against Chelsea. 21-year-old Baena, a former Villarreal junior player who has made 25 LaLiga games and four goals, has broken into the first squad this season.