Neymar defends Vinicius Junior after controversial celebration

The Real Madrid player scored a wonderful goal for Flamengo to seal an important victory over local rivals Botafogo but it was the celebration that followed that made Brazil's headlines.
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Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior was the protagonist in this weekend's Flamengo victory over Botafago in the Rio derby. A delicious curling effort from the youngster flew into the top corner giving the keeper no chance but his controversial celebration was rewarded with a booking, one that fellow Brazilian Neymar was quick to defend.

'Cry-baby' celebration charge for Vinicius

On loan in Brazil from the Spanish giants, Vinicius has been rarely out of the news. That goal, which was the third in a 3-1 win to reach the Guanabara Cup final, was followed with a celebration with his teammates where Vinicius rubbed his eyes as if he was crying towards the opposing fans. The referee deemed this provocative and showed him a yellow card just seconds before the full-time whistle.

The crying celebration.

Neymar supports young compatriot

The goal, celebration and sanction from the official was much discussed on social media, and one famous name joined in. PSG's Neymar Jr responded to an Instagram post from Brazilian football account Futebol Na Tela who had posted:

"Vinícius Júnior shown a yellow card for doing the 'cry baby'. What is football coming to?"

Neymar's response suggested he agreed:

"Football is mad. If your team wins against that of your friend and you celebrate it, you are making a mistake. You will be punished."

As Vinicius was being sanctioned with a booking, several of the incensed Botafago players had to be held back by the officials and players and staff spilled onto the pitch from the technical area. The future Real Madrid star walked off ignoring it all.

Vinicius and his Flamengo side will play Boavista in the final on Wednesday, which is the first round of the main Rio de Janiero championship.