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Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior apologises to Zidane after mobile phone incident in a pre-match warm-up

Real Madrid vs Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander
Real Madrid vs Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander
Joshua Ojele
ANALYST
Modified 19 Feb 2021
News
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According to ESPN, Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior was caught using his phone in a warm-up by head coach Zinedine Zidane prior to the Champions League Round of 16 second-leg clash with Manchester City last summer.

With Real Madrid looking to overturn a 2-1 first-leg defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu, Vinicius was dropped from Real Madrid’s starting XI. The 20-year-old was then spotted by Zidane using his phone in the dressing room as he opted to skip the pre-match warm-up with other substitutes.

Zidane reacted by refusing to play Vinicius the entire game, leaving him as an unused substitute in the 2-1 loss.

Spanish news publication AS claim the Brazilian had to issue an apology for his behaviour to the Real Madrid manager via a phone call during the post-season summer break.

ESPN later revealed that Vinicius went on to apologise in person to the Real Madrid boss in his office in Valdebebas.

Vinicius has struggled to hit his stride with Real Madrid this season

Real Madrid vs FC Internazionale: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid vs FC Internazionale: Group B - UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid's pacey winger Vinicius Junior has so far failed to get into gear this season. Despite Eden Hazard’s absence, the Brazilian has struggled to pin down a regular starting role under Zinedine Zidane.

The Real Madrid winger is averaging just 55 minutes per game in 11 league starts from a possible 23 this season while making nine substitute appearances. He has scored two goals and registered two assists in this period, averaging a goal every 547 minutes in the Spanish La Liga.

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The Brazilian has been handed just two starts in the Champions League and has made four appearances from the bench.

His last goal for Real Madrid came over four months ago in Real Madrid's 3-2 group-stage defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

While it was reported that there was friction between Zidane and Vinicius due to the Real Madrid boss’ style of management, Vinicius has successfully pinned down three starts in his last three games.

Real Madrid take on Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg, where Vinicius will hope for a fourth-straight inclusion in the starting XI.

Published 19 Feb 2021, 17:53 IST
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