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 several visiting players as well as coach Javier Aguirre over the number of fouls he received.
Ancelotti and Real teammate 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 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 is also in ruthless form heading into the match with Leipzig, winning all five of its domestic fixtures to lead the LaLiga standings and having beaten Celtic 3-0 last week in its 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, it has 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.