560 days elapsed since the Saniatago Bernabéu last hosted a Real Madrid game with fans present and Brazilian Vinicius was the toast of the 30,000 supporters who watched Ancelotti’s men come from behind on Sunday night with the Brazilian instrumental in the win against Celta. The former Flamengo man talked to AS about his current form and his development with Real Madrid.
-You were in fine form in the Celta game as the team returned to play at the Bernabéu. The last time you played there was 1 March (2020) and you also scored. The return to the iconic stadium was wonderfully scripted…
It really was a special night. We knew that the fans would be behind us from the off and to be honest their support was key in us turning things around when we were 1-2 down. Their encouragement was vital and instrumental in securing the win.
-In the past 18 months, you’ve played games behind closed doors at the Di Stéfano stadium in Valdebebas. The silence there must have been difficult. How key is the presence of fans in helping a player deliver his best?
Yes, Valdebebas was difficult for us and especially for myself as I love playing in front of a big crowd as I’m used to playing in front of passionate Brazilian supporters. You feel the presence of the fans and it’s a unique thing. We genuinely feel that having fans back in the stands will help us in our quest to win titles this season.
-Vack in 2018, you were the toast of the Bernabéu. Now in 2021 it’s happening again. In this stadium, the likes of Zidane or even Cristiano have been whistled at. To what do you attribute your excellent relationship with the Bernabéu crowd?
This is something that I’m highly proud of. I do believe that my style of play has much to do with it. I like to take players on and if I mess up, then I’ll try again. I hope this good relationship for many years to come.
– Does your style of play originate from your neighborhood and the beach when you were growing up?
Here I like to play as if I was at home, as I did in Brazil. I like to play with happiness and with the help of the fans support, it’s a style I plan to keep using. We play to keep the supporters happy.
-Are you aware that you’ve come in for criticism for the exuberant manner in which you celebrated the goal by jumping into the arms of the fans in the middle of a pandemic.
It was a moment of many emotions and the fact that we were playing once again with fans present had much to do with it. I let myself go a little it’s true as it was the goal that made it 3-2 on the night and I don’t know any of the fans in that sector. It was a hug for all Real Madrid fans who have stayed by our side in these times.
-What did Ancelotti say to you over the summer months to give you this added level of confidence that you appeared to lack previously?
He talked about taking less touches before shooting. The coach has spent plenty of time working with me at Valdebebas and has been instrumental in helping me improve my game.
-I have a statistic that I’m sure you’re going to like. In these four games, you’ve bagged four goals from ten shots on goal, that’s almost a goal per two shots…
Confidence is key to any strikers numbers.
– How is your life in Madrid?
I live with my family and my little brothers and really like living in the city, I feel very much at home. My physio also lives with us and we work together many evenings and he ensures that my diet is health. He really looks after me.