Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he fails to understand the increased media focus on Vinicius Jr. after a week in which the Brazilian forward’s personality has come under close scrutiny.
Vinicius faced criticism for arguing with Real Mallorca players in last week’s 4-1 victory and the attention turned to his usual goal celebration, dancing by the corner flag, which has been interpreted as provocative to opponents.
Vinicius released a statement on Friday in response to the reaction, including one comment from a Spanish football panellist that has been interpreted as racist.
“My dances celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it, I’m not going to stop,” he wrote on Instagram.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s LaLiga derby away to Atletico Madrid, Ancelotti fielded six questions about Vinicius.
“I don’t know what is happening with Vinicius, for me it’s nothing, he is playing football with quality, joy and happiness,” Ancelotti told reporters on Saturday.
“I don’t need to give him any advice, I’m not his father or his brother, I’m his coach.”
Real will still be without injured captain Karim Benzema and winger Lucas Vazquez as it looks to continue its perfect start to the season, having won all five LaLiga games to lead the standings with 15 points.
Atletico is seventh with 10 points and suffered a 2-0 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday, but coach Diego Simeone said form did not matter in a derby.
“Everything can be going well until the referee starts the game and then it’s a brand new film and we don’t know how it ends. That’s why this sport is so much fun,” he said.
Atletico defenders Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic are injury doubts although Simeone confirmed goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who has missed the last two matches due to injury, is fit again and will start the match.