just after The final whistle at the Santiago BernabéuAnd Kyle Walker She walked over to Vinicius Jr. and smiled, before the couple embraced. It was pure respect from the Manchester City full-back after going toe-to-toe, running for the sprint, with the Brazilian and only surrendering for a moment of pure beauty.
The Real Madrid striker pointed to the sky, probably reminding Walker that he had tried to beat him with the rainbow flick, that audacious skill that moves the ball from the ground to the opponent’s head. It is usually only seen in warm-ups or maybe Hollywood movies. Vinicius is a leading A-list actor. Standing in the way of City and the Champions League final.
In years to come when he does show up, it will be forgotten that he was totally against the course of play. City had more than 70 per cent of it but within seconds their hard efforts gave up and they were trailing into the equaliser. “The first chance they had, they scored a great goal,” said the City midfielder. Rodri.
What a goal that was. Eduardo Camavinga carried the ball forward after a touch Luka Modric Hit the city press. From under pressure to pressure EdersonGoal. When the ball was offloaded to Vinicius, his first touch set him up for a kick on goal. Robin DiasTrying to block means there is only one part of the target to aim for, which Vini finds during the full run.
There are no recorded metrics on the toughest side-legged shots in football, but Vinicius will be up there with the strongest. “Own player, own goal,” was the referee for UEFA Champions League winner Rio Ferdinand. “He stays in, instead of expanding, as that’s where it’s most dangerous. Pure magic. Power. Accuracy. He’s the kind of player who can hit it as hard as he wants and get it right.”
It was Carlo Ancelotti Focus on his team’s performance more than his star striker. “He’s a great striker in a great moment. But the team did well,” said the Real Madrid coach, who looked mildly, perhaps next week at the Etihad Stadium.
Ancelotti has one of the strongest players in the competition leading his attack. For half an hour it was just City, with Real Madrid on the ropes until they found Vinicius. It wasn’t a knockout but rather a warning of what could happen next week.
It’s no surprise that Real Madrid inserted a €700m buyout clause into his contract, given how highly regarded he is at the Bernabeu and how he is viewed by others across Europe. While there has been no official announcement regarding a contract extension, there have been some reports in Spain that it has been agreed.
Until that is announced, he only has one full season left on his current terms, which begs the question as to why Premier League clubs haven’t tried to lobby to bring him to England. In Real, they’re used to getting long term signings and making it clear who they’re targeting. But as it is, even when Chelsea They were spending January breaking the British record for the next transfer, there was no talk of Vinicius.
There has been a great deal of congestion between Madrid and the Premier League in recent seasons. Not all of them were eliminated either. Casemiro And Raphael Varane has shown there is plenty left in the tank for them Manchester United Careers, Martin Odegaard been used Arsenal As a platform to show his talent up Alvaro Morata He was a real first team player. But the truth Galacticus Those who are invited to be the winners of the biggest matches, stay in the club unless they are asked to leave.
After Vinicius scored his magnificent goal against City, he moved wide to the touchline and was slapping Real’s armband in celebration. Showing loyalty to his club in a city that has been his home for the past five years, since he joined Flamengo for just under £40m. He has become the player Brazilians thought Neymar would be, lighting up Europe’s biggest tournament with his speed and ruthlessness in front of goal.
Not all was happy in Madrid. Atletico fans hung a dollop of Vinicius in January, which was condemned by La Liga and both rivals Real Madrid. Fans called him a monkey earlier in the season and there were calls for legal action over the racism he faced. However, there was no muttering that England is his best home yet. There would be no shortage of recipients if that changed.