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Neymar backs Vinicius Jr amid criticism over celebrations: “Dribble, dance & be you”

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Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images

Over the past few days, a lot has been made about Vinicius Jr and his style of play and his way of celebrating goals.

The 22-year-old was at the receiving end of some harsh fouls and challenges last weekend against RCD Mallorca, who seemingly felt provoked by the speedster’s dribbling and dancing celebrations when he scored.

It has sparked up a massive debate in Spanish footballing circles, with players, pundits and fans all weighing in on the matter. While some consider it to be provocative behaviour, there are some who believe that Vinicius is well within his right to celebrate as he deems fit, as long as he is not being disrespectful.

On Thursday, Atletico Madrid captain Koke issued a warning to Vinicius that his celebration might not be well-received at the Civitas Metropolitano when the two teams face off later this weekend.

Soon after, another Atletico player, Alvaro Morata, also had his say on the matter, insisting that there was nothing wrong with the Real Madrid superstar celebrating the way he wishes to as long as he does not cross a line.

Now, Vinicius’ Brazil teammate and PSG superstar has come to the backing of the 22-year-old with posts on his social media accounts.

The former Barcelona forward, who himself has attracted criticism in the past for similar reasons, first sent out a tweet that translated to: “Dance Vini Jr”.

Soon after, Neymar put up a story on Instagram with Vinicius’ picture and a caption that reads: “Dribble, dance & be you! Happy just the way you are. Go for it my boy, next goal we dance”.

Following in Neymar’s footsteps, a whole of host Brazilian players like Richarlison, Lucas Paqueta and even Barcelona star Raphinha have shown their support to Vinicius with posts on social media.

There are said to be growing concerns in the Real Madrid dressing room about opponents targeting Vinicius Jr and trying to get into his head. And it will be up to the Brazilian to ignore all the noise and keep doing what he has been doing over the past year.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Adolphus Lake

    September 16, 2022 at 9:00 am

    This is a simple mind game to get him distracted and lose his edge on what he does best. This is football and infact the world most entertaining sports and goal celebrations whatever they are just makes it beautiful.
    Vino Jr. Do the double D, it’s worth it

  2. Sojaboy

    September 16, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Do the double D Vini Jr. Dribble and Dance. That’s called been yourself. They can’t be like you and it hurts them!

  3. WC Dave

    September 16, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    I’m a neutral, not a Real Madrid fan, but it’s easy for anyone to see that a lot of the criticism of Vini Jr. stems from barely-hidden racist attitudes on the part of some players and others around the game. We’ve seen just this kind of controversy in American football in years past, with white owners and coaches attacking black players like Terrell Owens for creative celebrations. Fortunately, American football seems to have gotten past these backward ideas, and I hope the worldwide sport of football will do so as well.

  4. Tesfaye

    September 17, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Dribble them and score a goal
    Then celebrate with your Dance!!!

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Real Madrid News

Benzema talks Vinicius, Mbappe, Ballon d’Or, decision to leave Real Madrid

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Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

Last Saturday marked a special moment for Real Madrid fans as Karim Benzema, the former captain and Ballon d’Or winner, made his return to Spain. 

This visit was his first in over a year and has generated significant excitement among his supporters. Benzema, now playing for Al Ittihad, was set to participate in a pre-season friendly match against Elche at Estadi Olímpic Camilo Cano.

The Al Ittihad team had been gearing up for the new season by holding training sessions in Benidorm, a well-known Spanish coastal town that is a favourite among tourists. 

This picturesque setting has provided a perfect backdrop for the team’s preparations, blending hard work with the beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean coast.

Benzema’s return to Spain is not just about playing one match. The 36-year-old striker is also set to face two of his old rivals in upcoming games. 

Al Ittihad has scheduled matches against Sevilla on July 26 and Real Betis on August 3. These encounters are highly anticipated, as Benzema has a long history with both clubs from his time in La Liga.

Real Madrid hold a special place

During a recent training session, Benzema took some time to sit down for an interview with MARCA, he shared his thoughts on his return to Spain and his enduring connection to Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid will have a special place in Karim Benzema’s life. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Benzema made it clear that, despite moving on to a new chapter in his career, Real Madrid will always hold a special place in his heart.

“[Last season was] spectacular, very good. Real Madrid are always the best team in the world. Players come and go, but Real Madrid will always be at the top, at the very top. It is the best and will continue to prove it,” he began saying.

“Joy. A lot,” said when asked about Madrid’s recent UEFA Champions League triumph. 

“It’s my team and I will always be on the side of Real Madrid and my teammates. It’s logical. Real Madrid is Real Madrid, something unique.”

Decision to leave Real Madrid

The 36-year-old forward left Real Madrid last year and when asked if he regrets he decision, he added,

“Some come and others go. It’s like that and it will always happen. It was the right moment. Of course, I look back and feel happy. 

“Last season they gave a sensation of power, of good football and that’s why they won the Champions League and the League. Today I don’t see any other team that can be better than Real Madrid,” he said.

Furthermore, when asked if there is any team capable of threatening Real Madrid, he said, 

“It’s the best team in the world. It’s always strong and fighting for everything. I stand there, look around and don’t see any team that’s capable of being better.”

Benzema picks Vini Jr for Ballon d’Or

Karim Benzema says Vinicius Jr deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

This year’s race for the Ballon d’Or is going to heat up as multiple players have made the case for themselves. However, Benzema thinks that Vinicius must win the honour.

“Ballon d’Or? I’m going to say Vini because he deserves it for his season and not just for what he’s done this year, but also for what he’s done last year. 

“He was also above the rest with his football and what he does with the ball. He’s a kid, a complete footballer”

Speaking about Vinicius, he added, “He can win a game on his own, of course with the help of his teammates, but he is very good when Real Madrid needs him and that is why I think he deserves it. 

“He is always there and he always shows up. For all of that, my favourite is Vini.”

Benzema’s thoughts on Mbappe

Karim Benzema says Kylian Mbappe was destined for Real Madrid. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2023/24 season had no owner of the number 9 shirt at Real Madrid, but Mbappe’s arrival has now fulfilled that. Speaking about his compatriot’s move, Benzema explained,

“Sooner or later he will play for Real Madrid. I have always thought that and that is what has happened. He is a great player.”

Lastly, when asked about Madrid’s dominance and if they can repeat the success of last season, he said, 

“Of course, of course. Really. I just don’t see a team that can be better than Real Madrid. Really. They have everything. Players, coach and president.”

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