Zinedine Zidane says Spain is “not a racist country” despite the recent incidents which have seen black players racially abused in international and domestic matches.

“I really don’t have the feeling that Spain is a racist country,” the Real Madrid playmaker was quoted as saying by sports daily L’Equipe on Friday.

“I think that a big majority of Spaniards are rather welcoming, rather tolerant. It would be stupid to say that Spain is a racist country.”

The issue of racism in Spanish football has dominated the headlines since visiting black players were abused at Spain’s friendly with England. Further incidents at Real Madrid-Bayer Leverkusen Champions League match and the Barcelona v Getafe Primera Liga game, have focused attention on the issue of racism in Spain.

Zidane said the problem was “the same everywhere”.

“I think, however, that the people in question are a minority whose only goal is to wreak havoc, to be in the limelight. It’s their life.

“We have to fight them together but it will be difficult to get rid of them.

“In Spain, you have so much media, television channels have such an impact, that when incidents occur they are talked about a lot more,” he added.