Why is Vinicius Jr not playing for Real Madrid against Union Berlin in the Champions League?
Carlo Ancelotti has relied a lot on the Brazilian to deliver the goods, especially when it comes to club football’s greatest competition.
His goal was enough to defeat Liverpool in the 2021/22 final that brought home number 14 for Real Madrid and he scored seven in 12 games across last season’s run that took them to the semis, but Vinicius Jr will not feature in the opening game of the 2023/24 Champions League group stage. The Brazilian forward misses the game against German side Union Berlin due to injury, and manager Carlo Ancelotti will almost certainly have to do without him for other European matches.
What injury does Vinicius Jr have?
Ever since the injury, the idea in the Madrid camp has been that they will not force Vinicius Jr to rush back with a date already pencilled in as a potential return for the winger. And Real Madrid are, for now, surviving without their star, with a new Englishman stepping in to the scoring void.
They did so against Celta Vigo, the day the Brazilian got injured, thanks to a goal from Jude Bellingham, and they did it again against Getafe at the Bernabéu with another from the new kid on the block, as well as Joselu. The Spanish striker was again at it in the most recent LaLiga game against Real Sociedad adding to Fede Valverde’s trademark screamer. Played five, won five, and top of the standings.
The Brazilian’s muscular problem, which will keep him out of action for another few weeks, sent nerves tingling in the shiny new Bernabéu due to doubts about how the team was to survive without its top scorer (last year he bagged 23 goals, only eight less than Karim Benzema, who is now in Saudi Arabia). But for now, Madrid are pushing on rather well with the season while they await his return.
At first, his injury, a major muscle tear in the right femoral biceps, was classified as around a six-week layoff, meaning that if the Brazilian beats his deadlines, he could be back for the game against Osasuna at the Bernabéu on October 7 or 8.
But it is not in Madrid’s plans to run or risk the player in the slightest, as they are well aware in the club that an early return would probably imply a call-up with Brazil for the October break, which lasts for 10 days after that match against Osasuna.
When do Real Madrid think Vinicius will return?
Vinicius is recovering normally at the Valdebebas training ground and was seen at the Bernabéu against Getafe, as well as at the Formula 1 Grand Prix, in Monza, where he was spotted with Lewis Hamilton. His recovery is progressing as planned, but those in charge at Madrid do not want to force a rushed return of the player and Madrid’s visit to the Estadio Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla is actually the one eyed for his reincorporation.
That match will take place on October 21 or 22, giving enough time for Vinicius to have recovered from his injury and to have been able to get back up to speed during the national team break.
Until then, Los Blancos will try to make do with Bellingham, Rodrygo, Joselu, Brahim and co. Not too shabby, I think you’ll agree.
What games will Vinicius miss for Real Madrid?
The following games are scheduled to take place between the time of writing and the expected return game stated above:
20 September | Union Berlin (UCL) - home
24 September | Atlético Madrid (LaLiga) - away
27 September | Las Palmas (LaLiga) - home
30 September | Girona (LaLiga) - away
3 October | Napoli (UCL) - away
7 October | Osasuna (LaLiga) - home