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Vinicius talks Neymar, Rodrygo, Ronaldo, Benzema, World Cup, and rash fouls on him



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

With the World Cup just days away, Vinicius Junior has offered his take on being the most fouled player in La Liga, in a recent interview with Reuters.

The Real Madrid forward has stated his uneasiness over being the most targeted player on the pitch, referring to Rodrygo as another affected party. He has also talked about Neymar and how the former Barcelona star has become an idol, not just for him but for any Brazilian youngster.

“What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch, but it has gone too far,” Vinicius told Reuters. (h/t Diario AS) “Rodrygo and I suffered a lot in those last games and we feared the worst, getting injured and missing the World Cup.”

Vinicius has been the subject of over five fouls attracted per game, which is by far the most by anyone in La Liga. It has left even the Real Madrid camp frustrated, but the attacker understands that is a part and parcel of the game.

“When you start to be an important player, the rivals come for you with more force. You have to learn to deal with it,” he said.

Vinicius went on to mention Neymar as a key figure in helping him make peace with the reality of being the most targeted player on the pitch. “I learned a lot from Neymar when he played for Barcelona, ​​he also suffered a lot. Cristiano (Ronaldo), when he played for Real, too.”

“Neymar went through a lot as a young player, having to play at such an early age and with a lot of pressure. So he is the one who is in charge today of making everything easier for the new generation,” he said.

“It is a dream because we have grown up idolizing him. It is very important what he does as a leader. He knows that by helping us, we can also help him a lot, to have a great World Cup,” he added.

Amidst all the fouls and racial slurs thrown against him by the opposition, though, Vinicius takes it all in a rather optimistic manner, the player reveals.

It was Karim (Benzema) who told me to be calm and have peace of mind, because if the rivals persecute you it is because you are relevant, because they are afraid of you. For this reason, when I catch the ball and go forward, I do it with enthusiasm. Yes, they can hurt me. But I’m up for the challenge,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Elche



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The Santiago Bernabeu is ready for the first time in a fortnight as Real Madrid are set to host relegation-threatened Real Valladolid for gameweek 27 of La Liga. The gap between them and Barcelona was increased to 15 yesternight, and los blancos will be looking to cut it down to 12 to scarce the tiniest bit of hope of defending their league crown.

Carlo Ancelotti has opted to use a highly attacking starting lineup for the clash, with Karim Benzema spearheading the front-three. He is flanked by Marco Asensio on the right while Vinicius Jr retains his place on the left.

Rodrygo also gets the nod to start, probably as an attacking midfielder in what looks like a 4-2-3-1.

Aurelien Tchouameni has been given the nod in midfield, with Toni Kroos forming the double pivot alongside him.

With Antonio Rudiger, Ferland Mendy, and Nacho out injured, Eduardo Camavinga gets the license to start as the left-back, while Lucas Vazquez flanks the defence from the right. The usual suspects — Eder Militao and David Alaba — start in central defence.

Thibaut Courtois was a doubt heading into this game, but has been given the medical greenlight to take his place as the goalkeeper.

Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Tchouameni, Kroos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius; Benzema

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