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Real Madrid: Zidane talks to Vinicius to explain absence

AS understands that Zinedine Zidane this week sat down with Vinicius to explain his reasons for delaying the 18-year-old Brazilian's return.

Vinicius Jr., en un partido con el Real Madrid.
Denis DoyleGetty Images

Vinicius has been one of the talking points after Real Madrid's last three squad announcements, and not for the reasons he would have liked. Having been left out of the clashes against Athletic Bilbao and Getafe, he again won't be involved as Los Blancos go to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, despite recovering sufficiently from injury to rejoin group training last week.

Real Madrid boss in no mood to rush Vinicius back

On each occasion, Vinicius' absence has been purely down to Zinedine Zidane's personal inclination to hold fire on the Brazilian's return, and AS has learned that the Madrid coach has this week sat down with the forward to explain his reasoning.

Zidane has made it plain to Vinicius that he doesn't want to take any risks, and will bring him back into the fold when he is satisfied that he has shaken off any lingering effects of the ankle injury he suffered against Ajax in early March. Furthermore, the Frenchman would rather he made his comeback in the more favourable circumstances of a game at their Bernabéu home stadium.

Zidane's caution hits Vinicius' Copa América ambitions

The cautious stance adopted by Zidane, who has previously shown similar patience with other injury victims' recoveries, has hampered Vinicius' designs on returning in time to convince the Brazil coach, Tite, to include him in his Copa América squad, which is due to be announced on 17 May.

Indeed, the 18-year-old's conversations with club medics had left him optimistic of being back in the Madrid squad for last weekend's win over Athletic (even if he did not expect to actually play), and all but certain that he'd make the matchday group for Thursday's draw at Getafe.

Vinicius pencilled in for Madrid return against Villarreal

However, AS understands that Zidane's chat with Vinicius has served to allay the player's concerns over his continued absence, which appears likely to come to an end when Madrid host Villarreal next Sunday - a game Brazil scouts are expected to attend to run the rule over the starlet.


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