The Madrid newspaper Marca caused an uproar with its front page this Monday entitled “Africa Power” featuring several European players with “African roots” in the Real Madrid squad.
Marca has been arousing outrage since Sunday evening and the disclosure of its front page of this Monday’s edition entitled “Africa Power”. The newspaper displays six players from the Real Madrid squad: Ferland Mendy, David Alaba, Karim Benzema, Eduardo Camavinga and the two summer recruits Aurélien Tchouaméni and Antonio Rüdiger. They are all European (four French, one German and one Austrian) but the daily dwells on their African origins, seeing it as a change of strategy in the recruitment of the record-winning club in the Champions League. All on a savannah setting encrusted in a map of Africa.
“Real Madrid have found a new ‘road map’ in their transfer policy, the media explains on its front page. They boast of having African roots despite having grown up far from the continent. They are strengthening a path which was opened with Eto’o, Geremi, Zidane, Makelele or Diarra.” On its site, Marca evokes Real’s “African blood” by listing the players from the continent who have played for the club, but also those with origins there.
These justifications and this front page caused outrage on social networks where many users recalled the birthplaces of the six players highlighted on this front page: Karim Benzema was born in Lyon, Aurélien Tchouaméni in Rouen, Ferland Mendy in Meulan , David Alaba in Vienna and Antonio Rüdiger in Berlin. Only Eduardo Camavinga was born in Africa, in a refugee camp in Angola before joining Fougères (near Rennes) at two years old.
“Racist”, “weird”, “out of place”, “scandalous”… this angle provokes indignation, in particular this notion of a “new roadmap” in recruitment. The tweet of this front page from Marca generated nearly 10,000 shares when it was posted online. A very large majority to express anger and dissatisfaction.