Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has denied making a racist gesture during a goal celebration at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

The Uruguayan scored an equaliser and a goal in the penalty shootout against Portugal as his country progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament.

But in his goal celebration he pulled his eyes back to make them into slits.

“It is not a racist celebration. It was a private celebration for friends,” he later tweeted in Korean.

“I did not have any racist intent. I’d like to apologise.”

Last month Argentina international Ezequiel Lavezzi apologised after he made a similar pose in promotional pictures for his Chinese football club.

He was photographed pulling the corner of his eyes in pictures taken for the Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune.

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