Video of Vinicius Jr practising his dance moves in training resurfaces after 'racist' celebration criticism
A clip of Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr practising his dance moves in training has resurfaced ahead of Sunday's clash with rivals Atletico Madrid, after the Brazilian forward was criticised over his trademark celebration.
The 22-year-old has vowed to continue using his celebration and claims his critics are bothered by a "victorious black Brazilian in Europe".
It comes after Pedro Bravo, president of the Spanish agents association, claimed Vinicius was not respecting his opponents with his dancing, comparing his behaviour to that of a monkey.
Bravo has since apologised for his comments, claiming he misused a metaphor.
"I want to clarify that the expression 'playing the monkey' that I have misused to qualify Vinicius' goal celebration dance was done metaphorically," he said.
"Since my intention was not to offend anyone, I sincerely apologise. I am sorry!"
Vinicius Jr has hit back at Bravo and believes he was the target of a "xenophobic and racist comment".
"They say that happiness bothers," Vinicius said in a video posted to social media.
"The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more.
"But my desire to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that. You can't even imagine it. I was a victim of a xenophobic and racist comment. But none of that started yesterday."
"Weeks ago they began to criminalise my dances. Dances that are not mine," he added.
"They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paqueta, [Antoine] Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha... they belong to Brazilian funk and samba artists, reggaeton singers, and black Americans.
"Those are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I'm not going to stop."
Real Madrid travel to face rivals Atletico Madrid at the Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday and the home side's captain Koke has warned Vinicius Jr he could be in "trouble" if he uses his trademark celebration after scoring.
But the Spain international also added the Brazilian is free to celebrate how he wishes.
"If in the end he scores and decides to dance, well, it's what he wants to do," Koke said.
"Would I understand it or not? Everyone has their own way of being and of celebrating goals as they please."
A video of Vinicius Jr practising his dance moves in training has now resurfaced ahead of the match.
The clip, posted on Twitter by Real Madrid fan account RMadridFrance_, shows the Brazilian practising his silky footwork during a training drill earlier this season. Check the footage out below.
Il s’entraîne déjà pour demain.😂pic.twitter.com/uHjx0pib3J— Real Madrid 🇫🇷 (@RMadridFrance_) September 17, 2022
A number of Vinicius' fellow professionals have leapt to the defence of the Brazilian, including his international teammates Neymar and Richarlison.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, have condemned Bravo's comments and threatened legal action.
"Real Madrid CF rejects all kinds of racist and xenophobic expressions and behaviours in the field of football, sport and life in general, such as the regrettable and unfortunate comments made in recent hours against our player Vinicius Junior," read a club statement.
"Real Madrid wants to show all its love and support for Vinicius Junior, a player who understands football as an attitude towards life based on joy, respect and sportsmanship.
"Football, which is the most global sport that exists, must be an example of values and coexistence. The club has instructed its legal services to take legal action against anyone who uses racist expressions towards our players."
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/RMadridFrance_
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