Benzema, Mendy, Vinicius and Zidane

Obviously, Karim Benzema is within his right to feel frustrated with Vinicius' game, which could very well be described as chaotic. Many people have thought this, so it is reasonable that whoever accompanies the young Brazilian in the attacking line could also feel the same way.

That is especially the case with an intelligent footballer like Benzema, whose game tends to follow specific logical guidelines – “If I move like this, you send it to me there, and if I shoot to the left, you come in diagonally”.

Things like that are reflective of either a natural tactical talent, or one acquired over years of experience. Vinicius does not have it naturally, nor has he had enough learning time to acquire it.

Benzema’s disdain for Vinicius' game

Benzema's disdain for Vinicius' game was already noticeable from abundant examples of his gestures in matches. It is somewhat ugly to see and goes against camaraderie when players throw things in the faces of their team mates. It’s something that should be reserved for schoolyard football. However, Benzema has strangely practiced this behaviour on a regular basis in the professional game.

What makes it even stranger is the fact that because Benzema is such a calm and reserved character, he is not very expressive in much else. But what happened the other day was quite another thing. Téléfoot caught him criticising Vinicius at halftime of Madrid’s game against Monchengladbach “He does what he wants,” Benzema told compatriot Ferland Mendy. “Don’t play with him, brother. He plays against us.”

Benzema can ask Zidane not to play Vinicius. That wouldn’t be a nice thing to do, but it could be understood. What he cannot do is look for accomplices to try to undermine him. But that is what he did, and he did so with such recklessness. Despite his disordered manner of play, Vinicius has done many valuable things and, besides, it is Zidane's decision who plays and when they play. And if one player tries to isolate another, he is undermining the coach’s orders.