HomeLaLigaVinicius is a great player, not antagonistic, says Ancelotti

Vinicius is a great player, not antagonistic, says Ancelotti

LaLiga - Real Madrid v Getafe
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – LaLiga – Real Madrid v Getafe – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain – April 9, 2022 Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti before the match REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says he will not tell his forward Vinicius Jr to tone down his style of play despite criticism that the Brazilian has been provoking his opponents.

Vinicius was involved in a series of confrontations on the pitch during Madrid’s 4-1 win over Real Mallorca on Sunday, arguing with a number of visiting players as well as coach Javier Aguirre over the number of fouls he received.

Ancelotti and Real team mate Toni Kroos could even be seen telling Vinicius to calm down during the game and focus on playing rather than confronting opponents.

But the coach played down the issue ahead of Real’s Champions League match at home to RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

“What I see is a great player who is demonstrating his talent, that’s it,” Ancelotti told a news conference.

“I’m not deaf and I’m not stupid, I can hear what is being said but this isn’t a topic for us or for Vinicius. He has extraordinary quality and it’s normal that opponents try to stop him in his tracks and the rules of the game are there to protect all players, not just Vinicius.”

Vinicius, 22, is in his best run of form since joining Real four years ago, scoring in his last five matches in all competitions.

Real are also in ruthless form heading into the match with Leipzig, winning all five of their domestic fixtures to lead the LaLiga standings and having beaten Celtic 3-0 last week in their opening Champions League Group F game.

Leipzig suffered a humbling 4-1 home defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk last week which led to coach Domenico Tedesco being sacked the next day.

However, they have made a flying start to life under successor Marco Rose, who oversaw a 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday in his first game in charge.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge)