Former Real Madrid playmaker Takefusa Kubo, now one of the stars at Real Sociedad, has criticized the referees for not protecting him from the rough tackles he received during his team’s 1-1 draw with Alavés on Tuesday.
The Japanese international, who had three key passes and four completed dribbles on the night, was on the receiving end of several heavy challenges from the Alavés players.
Kubo, who still has rights owned by Real Madrid, expressed his frustration with the lack of protection from the referees in an interview with DAZN after the match.
“If neither the people nor the referees protect me, it is difficult,” Kubo said. “I try to play with the ball and entertain people, and also try to win, but there are many games in which I have been done a lot of damage and i need more protection”
Take Kubo: "If neither the people nor the referees protect me, it is difficult."— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) January 3, 2024
La Liga has a huge problem. It's most talented players consistently get the shit kicked out of them with no protection. It damages the product, marketability of the leaguepic.twitter.com/Ai2MPnwQQm
Kubo, as always, had some very silky touches and dribbles in this game, and even hit the cross bar with a beautiful shot late in the match.
But the over-arching story for Kubo, and many talented players in La Liga this season, including Vinicius Jr and Jude Bellingham, continues to be that the heavy challenges that are aimed in their direction suffer little-to-no consequences, empowering defenders to be ultra-physical with the league’s best dribblers.
Vinicius Jr has shown similar concern in the past. In a match against Girona last season, for example, when the Brazilian was lying on the ground, a Girona player kicked the ball at him — and it was Vinicius who received a card for bringing it to the attention of the referee. Similarly, and even more extreme, last season at the Mestalla, Vinicius was shown a red card for protecting himself from being assaulted and attacked by Hugo Duro with a chokehold from behind.
Kubo has resurfaced these problems again with his words last night.