Vinicius unhappy with inconsistent officials: 'I don't judge the players, I judge the referees'

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has criticised LaLiga referees for failing to issue cards to opponents who repeatedly foul him.

Vinicius was on target for Madrid in Saturday's 3-1 win over Espanyol, with that his team-high 19th goal in 39 appearances this season.

He was once again targeted by opposition players, with his 138 fouls won in all competitions this term at least 34 more than any other player across Europe's top five leagues.

But Vinicius was himself shown a 12th yellow card of the season against Espanyol – only Sofyan Amrabat (13) and Alex Baena (14) have more across the continent.

"Referees don't give fouls and they don't give yellow cards," he told ESPN. "Players can foul me 15 times and, when the game is in the 88th minute, the referee gives a yellow.

"Players have to think of a way to stop me, and, by [committing fouls], it becomes very easy for them.

"I don't judge the players, but I judge the referees, because they have to apply the rules correctly."

Vinicius added: "I'm not asking for anyone to protect me. Nobody has protected me in my life, except my team-mates, my parents and the people that like me.

"What I have to do is to try to keep a clear head. I make mistakes sometimes; I'm only 22. I'll make a lot of mistakes. But I want to make fewer mistakes and keep learning."

Asked about referee Jorge Figuerola's decision to book Vinicius for a rather innocuous challenge, Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti said: "I didn't understand it.

"It wasn't an action that stopped a promising attack. I don't understand the yellow cards they give him. His attitude has been exemplary and he scored another fantastic goal."

Vinicius arced a fine strike into the bottom-right corner to cancel out Joselu's early opener at the Santiago Bernabeu, before Eder Militao put Madrid in the lead before half-time.

Marco Asensio then sealed the comeback win for Madrid, who have now won 10 points from losing positions in LaLiga this term – a tally only Osasuna (12) can better.

Ancelotti's side are back to within six points of leaders Barcelona, who play their game in hand at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.