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Kyle Walker opens up on interaction with Vinicius Jr: “Don’t make me a meme”

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Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid at the Etihad, defender Kyle Walker has opened up on his duel with Vinicius Jr and the wholesome interaction between the pair after the first leg.

Walker and Vinicius were involved in a stunning battle during the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. And even though the Real Madrid winger scored a goal on the night, the Manchester City right-back put in a solid shift overall.

As the two teams prepare to collide again on Wednesday night, Walker was asked in a press conference about how one goes about defending against a top player like Vinicius. In response, the England international said (h/t Manchester Evening News):

“I take it as any other game, you have to show him respect. Like Mbappe at the WC. You give them the respect they deserve. I’m representing City, the ambition for the club is massive.

“If I can’t compete with these top players, I shouldn’t be here. I need to make sure I come against the best and can deal with the best.”

After the first leg, a short clip in which Vinicius and Walker were seen smiling at each other and hugging, went viral on the internet. Shedding light on their interaction, the Manchester City ace said:

“I went to hug him because he tried to rainbow-flick me. I was like please don’t try that again and make me a meme. Boxers have a battle and shake hands after. You give the level of respect because they deserve it.

“Carrying a massive club over the line in the CL, you show your respect. Tomorrow night, I’ll give him the respect he deserves but before that is dog eat dog.”

In Spain, Vinicius faces a lot of hatred from opposition fans and opponent players also treat him harshly, with the winger being termed as ‘provocative’. When asked if he also felt the same about the Real Madrid superstar, Walker said:

“He’s a very good player, does what he needs to get his team over the line. I don’t get involved in it all, if there’s trash talk it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been through more difficult things than people winding me up.

“I’ve seen him go down easily, it’s part of the game to get an advantage over your opponent. Don’t take his football away from him, he’s a top player.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar drawing inspiration from win vs Barcelona ahead of Man City showdown

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Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

Real Madrid players will be pumped up as they take on Manchester City on Wednesday, in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Real Madrid face a daunting task of beating Man City at the Etihad, after drawing 3-3 in the first leg. It must be noted that Los Blancos do not have a good record against Man City, losing twice in their last three meetings.

Vinicius Jr. pumped to defeat Man City

Despite the might of the opposition, confidence and optimism remain high in the Real Madrid camp, with Vinicius Jr., in particular, determined to defeat Man City, reports MARCA.

The Brazilian considers Man City as their main rival, especially given the way Real Madrid have performed against the English champions in recent years.

In the last three meetings between these two sides, Man City have won twice in 2020 and 2023, while Real Madrid secured a majestic victory in 2022.

Man City certainly have the home advantage heading into this fixture, but their might could be tested against a Real Madrid side keen on proving a point.

Vinicius determined to defeat Man City. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Vinicius takes Barça win as a reference

Vinicius Jr.’s hopes of defeating Man City and reaching the semifinal stage have been reinforced by the belief that the club can turn things around, just as they did against Barcelona last season.

Back in April 2023, Real Madrid and Barcelona locked horns in the semifinal of the Copa Del Rey. Real Madrid succumbed to a 0-1 defeat in the first leg and required a turnaround in the second leg at Camp Nou.

Sure enough, Real Madrid players stepped up to the plate and secured a majestic 4-0 victory to secure a place in the Copa Del Rey final. Vinicius and Karim Benzema, in particular, were the star performers for Los Blancos.

Although one would expect Man City to offer a much tougher fight, Vinicius remains confident of the club’s ability to stage a turnaround, as the two teams lock horns on Wednesday.

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