Vinicius Junior said he was “no saint” after scoring a hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 4-1 thumping of rivals Barcelona in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Opponents often criticize the Brazilian winger, 23, for going down easily, criticizing referees, and embarrassing them with dribbles.
Ronald Araujo, a Barcelona defender, was sent off after receiving two yellow cards for fouls on Vinicius.
In the second half, players and personnel on Barcelona’s bench, notably midfielder Sergi Roberto, seemed to argue with Vinicius.
“I’m very sad because everyone wants to fight with me because they know it will come out in the media,” Vinicius said after the game.
“I try to concentrate on the game in order to do my best for my teammates (but) I am not a saint; sometimes I talk too much and do dribbles I shouldn’t do, but I am here to improve.”
“I want to improve, my team-mates and the coach are showing me what I have to do.”
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said that he substituted Vinicius in the closing moments because he was weary.
“I took Vinicius off because of all the effort he’d put in, not to avoid problems,” the Italian said to reporters.
“I removed him for the last ten minutes.” Vinicius must fulfill his job, which is to thrill fans and deliver championships to Real Madrid.”
Vinicius was by far the finest player on the field as Real Madrid destroyed their opponents to revenge the Catalans’ Super Cup final humiliation last year.
The Brazilian’s hat-trick increased his goal total versus Barcelona to six in 16 outings.
Vinicius celebrated his first goal like Cristiano Ronaldo, the former Real Madrid striker and the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, who currently plays in Saudi Arabia.
“The celebration was for Cris, because he’s my idol, and now he is playing here,” Vinicius went on to say.
“The people of Saudi Arabia have a special affection for me, and I am overjoyed with what we accomplished today.”
“To beat Barcelona 4-1 is very hard and today we had an almost perfect game.”