an untimely kick

Vinicius lives surrounded by spotlights… and rivals. His football, the one that has elevated him to the elite in the last year and a half, generates antipathy in the opposite. Upright, cheerful and fond of dribbling, the Brazilian has his license plate taken. He is the footballer of the five major leagues who receives the most fouls. 69, a clear advantage over the rest of the pursuers: Neymar (59), Zaccagni (58), Zaha (57)… Game by game, it is common to see came on the floor. As common as his fuss is, showing his weariness due to the rigor with which his markers are used. And when Son Moix appeared on the horizon, a stage heated up enough by the precedents, a brutal entrance by Gabriel Paulista added unnecessary embers.

Shield/Team Flag

Vinicius was the footballer who suffered the most fouls in the match against Valencia, 5, but the one from the Spanish-Brazilian central defender in minute 71 took the cake. A kick without the possibility of playing the ball, uncontrolled, which was automatically accompanied by a direct red card. Ancelotti did not want to make firewood from the fallen tree: “It is ugly, but Paulista has always been a very correct player. It was the frustration of the moment”. But Voro will take action on the matter: “I’m going to talk to him (…). She has lost her head a bit, the result of impotence. In the field the revolutions rise and we all have to control ourselves because if not, it would be a war ”. Without going to war, Vinicius is used to being immersed in this type of battle and Paulista’s action, although it would have been in any one, comes at an inopportune moment, days before the duel in Mallorca after what happened last season and in the first lap…

From ’20’ to ’21’

Vinicius and Maffeo. Rodrygo and Raíllo. All face to face, closing an open circle in the 0-3 of 2021-22 where the reaction had more punishment than the action and the statements and the (in)direct ones on social networks lengthened the hangover of the meeting. In the first part, Maffeo made an ugly tackle on Vinicius. Sánchez Martínez only understood it as a foul, although Iturralde González, arbitration specialist for AS and SER, considered that it deserved expulsion. But the admonished was the Brazilian, yellow, for his protests. After the tangana, Son Moix dedicated some unfortunate racist chants to a Vinicius who danced for the local fans the goal that opened the can. More insults.

Maffeo's entrance to Vinicius.


Maffeo’s entrance to Vinicius.JAVIER GANDUL

And from ’20’ to ’21’. “It was his fault, because I touched the ball first and it hit me. But here if you wear white the criteria is different”, Antonio Raíllo said hotly, explaining a tough tackle on Rodrygo. Already calmer in the press room, he did sing the mea culpa. “When you watch it on TV with more calm, you see that perhaps you have entered the field stronger than you thought, the sensations inside the field are different and you don’t always realize the reality of these actions until you see them on a screen, I said that to add a bit of mischief. It is never a good thing for a fellow professional to have to retire injured”, said the vermilion captain.

And it is that, the one from Osasco had to leave the field of play, after the clash, without being able to support his right foot. “Rodrygo has his foot on the ground, Raíllo comes very strong and ends up stepping on him. It can be red”, analyzed Iturralde González in his day. It was yellow and at the end of the game, Emilio Butragueño also raised the saint to heaven. “You have to think about it, they are very tough tickets, the VAR has to intervene…”, the Director of Institutional Relations of Real Madrid indicated at the time. And he completed: “Especially for football, the entrances to Vinicius and Rodrygo are very dangerous”. It is a growing dynamic that is worrying within Real Madrid. He did it then and he does it now. A feeling of defenselessness that was evident in Courtois’s statements after the match against Valencia: “You have to protect cameHe is a very explosive boy and does a lot of dribbling. A defender doesn’t like it. They feel that they are wavering. I am happy that today a referee has had the courage to expelbecause it is a kick without the ball, meaningless ”.

Duel of (in)direct

Hours after the battle of Son Moix, the battle of social networks began. Vinicius published a double image. On the left, the entrance of Maffeo; on the right, a snapshot of a triple dribble whose last victim was the full-back. A Maffeo who did not hesitate to answer and she blew him an ironic kiss on another photograph in a set of both during the confrontation. And the other face to face also had the pill from him. Rodrygo said ‘good morning’ with two other photographs: one of his right ankle, which received Raíllo’s heels the night before, with a rather cumbersome anklet; the other, the exact moment where the dispute occurs. The Brazilian couple from Real Madrid made it clear that after the game they were still keeping in mind what had happened.

And he ‘dances Vini Jr’

A (in)direct duel that was revived in the first leg between Madrid and Mallorca at the Bernabéu. The decibels were growing during the meeting. The vermillions went ahead and the piques between Vinicius and his rivals followed one another, even with Javier Aguirre, until the controversy broke out after the 2-1 (it ended 4-1). The comeback goal, signed by came, came with a celebratory dance that the visiting team considered disrespectful. This generated a breeding ground where racism took center stage. Neymar, Raphinha, Pelé and a host of footballers positioned themselves in favor of Vinicius and her freedom to express herself through dance. “Baila Vini Jr”, was the motto and Real Madrid released an official statement to align with their player, rejecting “all kinds of racist and xenophobic expressions and behaviour”. Just as she threatened”take legal action against anyone who makes racist expressions towards our players”.

Vinicius's dance in the first round that did not sit well with the Mallorca players.


Vinicius’s dance in the first round that did not sit well with the Mallorca players.AFP7 via Europa Press

Raíllo also spoke in the ‘Diario de Mallorca’, but in other terms. “Vinicius dance but don’t miss it, don’t insult and don’t look down on fellow professionals; then when he is labeled as provocative, he uses the wild card of racism, ”said the defense after all the controversy that followed the first round match. A Raíllo who recently, on ‘DAZN’, once again made it clear that the Madrid winger is not a saint of his devotion: “If tomorrow I have to set an example for my son to a player, I will put Modric or Benzema, but I will never put him”. On Sunday (2:00 p.m.), the white team visits Son Moix again. Hernández Hernández, the referee in charge of directing the game, and De Burgos Bengoetxea from the VAR, will have an arduous task. They will try not to get too many sparks. If the confrontation already had enough noise around it, Paulista’s kick to Vinicius is an untimely loudspeaker to amplify the controversy.

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