Zinedine Zidane ‘brutally sidelined Vinicius Jr after he started looking at his mobile phone rather than listening to a team talk’ as the Brazilian wonderkid falls down the pecking order at Real Madrid.
Vinicius, 20, hasn’t started any of Real’s last five LaLiga matches and was left on the bench in their goalless draw away to Osasuna at the weekend.
And it appears he only has himself to blame having openly disrespected his manager.
Zinedine Zidane ‘sidelined Vinicius Jr’ after the Brazilian wonderkid looked at his phone instead of listening to his team talk before August’s game with Manchester City
The 20-year-old wonderkid has started fewer games this season and fallen out of favour
According to Spanish newspaper AS, the incident happened prior to the second leg of Real’s Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City on August 7.
Vinicius had played in the first leg back in February but Zidane opted to go with the injury-prone Eden Hazard at the Etihad Stadium and left the Brazilian on the bench.
AS say that when Zidane revealed to his players the starting line-up, Vinicius reacted badly and started looking at his mobile phone rather than listening to the team talk.
Zidane was angered by his actions but didn’t say anything at the time.
Vinicius was left out of the Real Madrid side to face Manchester City in the August match
Eden Hazard was favoured instead to start against Manchester City as Real went out
However, it has contributed to the wonderkid falling out of favour and starting fewer games this season, especially in the past few weeks.
Vinicius also suffered the humiliation of forward Karim Benzema accusing him of ‘playing against us’ during the Champions League match against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Frenchman was picked up by tunnel cameras and microphones at Borussia-Park discussing the Brazilian’s performance with Ferland Mendy and appeared to tell team-mates not to pass to him.
Karim Benzema (L) was sensationally caught on camera slamming team-mate Vinicius at half-time during a Champions League match with Borussia Monchengladbach
Cameras in the tunnel at Borussia-Park picked up a conversation in French between Benzema (bottom right) and Ferland Mendy, who were reportedly talking about Vinicius (top left)
The Brazilian (top centre) was stood within earshot of the duo during the half-time break
Benzema and Vinicius subsequently patched up their strained relationship but the Brazilian hasn’t impressed his manager
In a conversation spoken in French, Benzema told Mendy: ‘Don’t play with him. On my mother’s life, he [Vinicius] is playing against us.’
Marca reported that, while Vinicius wasn’t named in the conversation, it was the Brazilian who the pair were discussing.
Mendy only passed the ball to Vinicius on the left side of Real’s attack three times during the second half following the conversation as the game ended 2-2.
Vinicius, who cost Real in excess of £40million when they signed him from Flamengo in 2017, has scored three goals and contributed three assists in 21 games this season so far.