Brazil coach Tite has backed Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Junior amid controversy surrounding his celebrations, urging him to remain true to himself and continue dancing.
Real Madrid ace Vinicius Junior has adopted a new celebration this season. After scoring a goal, or even while celebrating with teammates, he has been performing a little dance routine. Although seemingly harmless, many rival fans have been left infuriated with the Brazilian, shamefully responding with racial abuse. Most recently, he was abused by a section of Atletico Madrid fans, which Los Rojiblancos have publicly condemned (via Goal).
Brazil national team coach Tite was asked to comment on the Real Madrid ace’s celebrations and the controversy surrounding it. He wholeheartedly backed his forward, backing him to continue celebrating as he saw fit. Speaking in a press conference, Tite said (via Ge Globo):
“It took me a while to manifest myself publicly, and I’m not in the habit of doing this manifestation. I’m not in the habit, and I only did it when I had the consensus and consent of the entire technical committee. And he is always respectful to the opponent. Vini and all the athletes, may you continue to take your talent and your art to those who love football.
“Dribble, dance, shine and keep being you in your essence always.”
Vinicius Junior has thus far featured in 14 games for the Selecao across competitions, scoring once.
Brazil icons Pele and Neymar have also come in support of Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior
Brazil legend Pele alongside the Selecao’s undisputed talisman have also come in support of the Los Blancos forward. On September 16, Pele took to Instagram to support Vinicius, declaring that the dance will not stop in the face of racial abuse.
The three-time World Cup winner wrote:
“Football is joy. It’s a dance. It’s more than that. It’s a real party. Although, unfortunately, racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism every day in this way: fighting for our right to be happy and respected.”
Neymar, on the other hand, shared an Instagram story in support for Vinicius, promising to dance with him after he scored the next goal.
The Brazil skipper wrote (via Managing Madrid):
“Dribble, dance and be yourself, happy to be who you are! Go for the top, my friend, we will dance on your next goal”