Real Madrid: Vinicius camp see double standards in Bale return
Vinicius has again been left out of Madrid's squad, with those close to him suggesting Zinedine Zidane has sent a "dangerous message" to the dressing room.
Vinicius Júnior has suffered another selection setback this weekend, having again been left out of the Real Madrid squad as Zinedine Zidane's men take on Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Saturday night.
Not even Lucas Vázquez's unavailability through injury has opened up a spot for Vinicius, fuelling question marks over the Brazilian's prospects under Zidane. The 19-year-old trained as normal on Friday and, after spending the last two weeks working towards the Sociedad game at the club's Valdebebas base, had been confident of making the matchday list.
Vinicius unable to earn spot, Bale returns to squad
Within Vinicius' camp, Zidane's decision is one they respect but nonetheless disagree with. Figures close to the youngster explain that he has trained flat out throughout the international break and that there have been no problems between player and coach. They feel there are double standards at play.
They believe Zidane's squad selection sends a dangerous message to the dressing room, given that Gareth Bale was named on the list despite his recent controversial actions - the Welshman celebrated his country's qualification for Euro 2020 by posing behind a flag reading "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order" - and the fact that, after 47 days away from the group, he has trained just twice with his team-mates. Whenever asked about Vinicius' lack of game time, Zidane has consistently stressed the importance of earning his place by putting in the hard yards on the training pitch...
Vinicius has started just four Real Madrid games this season
Vinicius has appeared 11 times for Madrid this season, starting just four of those games and playing the full 90 minutes only once, against Levante in September. He scored a fine goal against Osasuna three games after that - a strike that set his side on their way to victory - but the overall impression is that Zidane simply isn't convinced by the Flamengo youth product.
Vinicius' latest omission comes against the team he faced in his first Madrid start in January, a 2-1 defeat chiefly remembered for the controversial incident in which Los Blancos were not awarded a penalty despite goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli appearing to bring the teenager down in the box. 320 days later, Vinicius finds himself back at square one. However, he continues to rule out a January move.