Vinicius Junior: Real Madrid’s Superstar Is a Mixture of Magical Moments and Equal Parts Madness

Vinicius Junior: Real Madrid’s Superstar Is a Mixture of Magical Moments and Equal Parts Madness

Byron Pillay
March 17, 2024 at 11:10 AM
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  • Vinicius Junior once again made headlines after scoring a brace for Real Madrid against Osasuna
  • The Brazilian winger will miss Madrid's next game against Athletic Club Bilbao through suspension
  • Vini has picked up numerous bookings for either striking out at rival players or arguing with officials

There’s no keeping Vinicius Junior out of the action.

The Real Madrid star has a way of being at the centre of attention, either because of his goal-scoring abilities or his habit of getting into trouble with officials.

Lately, Vini has been doing both, scoring crucial goals for Los Blancos and getting booked regularly.

Vinicius Junior has developed a reputation or being a hero and a villain during games.
Vinicius Junior has shown two sides of his game for Real Madrid, as he both scores crucial goals but also gets into trouble. Image: Shaun Botterill/ Jose Breton.
Source: Getty Images

But is it the player's fault, or is he the victim? Sports Brief explores the moments of brilliance and moments of madness that surround the Brazilian.

The brilliant Brazilian nets 18th goal

When Karim Benzema opted to leave to leave for the Saudi Pro League, many were unsure how Madrid would function with him.

While they brought Joselu from Espanyol to fill the void, the wingers and midfielders have stepped up to the plate for the Spanish giants.

Vini has been one of the standout players and has already netted 18 times in all competitions. Last season, he scored just 23 goals in 55 games, Transfermarkt noted, and he is on course to smash that this season.

Carlo Ancelotti full of praise for Vini

The Brazilian grabbed his 17th and 18th goals of the season when he helped Los Blancos to a 4-2 win over Osasuna.

He shared a long embrace with coach Carlo Ancelotti after he was subbed off, and the Italian manager had a lot of praise for him after the game, Football Espana noted.

“He’s a decisive player, in everything he contributes. He could have scored more goals, but he’s effective in everything,” he said.

It’s not just his own manager who knows what a big star he is; Jagoba Arrasate does as well. After the game, the Osasuna coach praised the Vini, describing him as a great player.

Vinicius picks up another yellow

While the game against Osasuna showcased how crucial a player he is, it also highlighted just how crazy he can be, too. The Madrid winger was shown a yellow during the game, not for a bad tackle, but for laughing at the referee.

It marked his fourth successive yellow card, meaning he will be suspended for Madrid’s next game against Athletic Club Bilbao.

His issue with poor discipline isn’t a new trend either. He’s developed a reputation for getting booked either for dissent, or retaliating against players.

Die-hard Madrid fans are also calling for someone at the club to take him aside and speak to him about his behaviour.

Most notably, he’s been booked in recent games for putting his hands around Willi Orban’s throat, as well as pushing Oscar Mingueza to the ground. He’s also previously had a run-in with Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.

Is Vini a victim or culrit?

There’s no denying Vini’s talents.

The Brazilian is a pacey winger who is a gifted dribbler and always poses an attacking threat. But while he possesses all the skills to be a great player for years to come, he is also often targeted.

Ancelotti once said he never saw a player more targeted than the Brazilian, ESPN noted.

Sadly, opposition players know what triggers the star and have used that to their advantage. Many fans, coaches and rival players have purposefully gotten under his skin, hoping to get him sent off.

While this has been a common tactic, Vini is not solely a victim. He's also been known for riling up the opposition or winding up others and then crying wolf.

With the winger suspended for Madrid’s next game, and an international break taking centre stage before then, Vini has close to a month to reflect on his game and how he can cut out the bad parts to become one of the game’s best.

Vini booked for shoving Celta Vigo defender

Sports Brief previously reported how Vinicius Junior was booked after he shoved a rival player to the ground during a La Liga game.

The Brazilian received the booking after he reacted angrily to Óscar Mingueza pulling him back by his shirt, bringing him down to the ground.

Mingueza was first booked for the offence, but Madrid’s winger still took matters into his own hands and shoved the defender down to the ground.

Authors
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Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
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Diego SimeoneCarlo Ancelotti