Vinicius and Xavi had a heated interaction during Barcelona’s home clash with Real Madrid
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has revealed details about his encounter with Real Madrid’s speedy winger Vinicius Junior during the first showdown of the 2023-2024 El Clasico.
The intense match unfolded at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Saturday, October 28, as Madrid grabbed all three points and bragging rights at stake, completing a 2-1 comeback victory against their fierce rivals.
Xavi vs Vinicius: What happened?
As the Brazilian attacker prepared to make a move for a threaded pass, defender Ronald Araujo forcefully pushed him off the field, prompting frustration from Vinicius.
Enduring a series of tough tackles, some deemed fouls and others not, the 23-year-old voiced his discontent to the match official.
Meanwhile, Barca manager Xavi, displaying fervent activity on the sidelines, passionately urged the fourth official to disregard both Vinicius’s complaints and Real’s claims for fouls, per The Athletic.
In a subsequent interaction, Xavi playfully tapped the Brazilian on the cheek in a semi-affectionate manner, not quite a slap, but not far from it.
Taking place around the half-hour mark, the incident served as a minor episode in the El Clasico storyline, ultimately overshadowed by Real Madrid’s impressive comeback from a goal deficit, credited to Jude Bellingham’s brace.
Despite the game’s dramatic turn, questions arose for Xavi regarding the earlier confrontation with the Brazilian player.
The former Spain international responded, as cited by Sports Brief on X, indicating that their exchange was entirely cordial and without any ill will.
“Total respect. I told him it wasn’t a foul. I respect him. I even admire him as a footballer. I told him it wasn’t a foul, and I gave him a caress, just like that.”
Xavi’s tactical masterplan to stop Vini
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Xavi Hernandez is acutely aware of the menace posed by Vinicius and has been actively devising a robust strategy to contain the Brazilian’s influence on the game.
In light of the ongoing injury crisis affecting his team, and with Jules Kounde unavailable for the match, Xavi is purportedly considering deploying central defender Ronald Araujo in the right-back position to counter Vinicius’s threat.
Araujo, known primarily as a centre-back, has notably demonstrated his defensive prowess in previous encounters against the Real Madrid attacker while operating in the right-back role..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>