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Will Vinícius play in Real Madrid’s final game of the season?

Real Madrid take on Athletic at the Bernabéu on Sunday.

Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior warms up prior the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 9, 2023. Spanish prosecutors opened a probe on May 22, 2023 into racist chants aimed at Real Madrid's star forward Vinicius Junior during a match as the football federation president admitted the country had a "problem" with racism. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP)

It will be a day of farewells at the Bernabéu. Marco Asensio, Mariano, and Eden Hazard will all leave Real Madrid today, but it will also be the day of a return. Vinícius will come back into the fold against Athletic after the racial abuse he had to endure at Mestalla.

“I love you. Thank you, thank you and thank you,” Vini Jr posted after the Real Madrid vs Rayo match. The game at home to Rayo was the first after the nasty scenes at Mestalla. It ended in a 2-1 win for Los Blancos, with Vinícius out of the side. He sat next to Florentino Pérez, witnessing huge support from teammates, rivals and fans. “Vinicius is all of us. Enough is enough,” read the banner displayed at the Santiago Bernabéu. In the 20th minute (his shirt number), there was an ovation for him.

Vinícius missed matches versus Rayo and Sevilla

Vinícius was sent off in the match against Valencia after a brawl but the Competition Committee withdrew the red card. His absence against Rayo and Sevilla was due to a knee problem.

Sanctions for the aggressors, an apology from Javier Tebas, UEFA taking action, statements from fellow professionals vindicating the fight against racism, Madrid women’s and basketball teams wearing jerseys with the number 20 on their backs, support from Flamengo, from Lula da Silva. He got the support he deserves. It was also reported from Brazil that the forward even doubted whether he would stay at the club. AS was able to confirm that he is staying, but the rumour mill continued. On this occasion, Vinícius will be able to thank the fans for their support as he returns from his recent spell on the sidelines.

Real Madrid fans have voted him as the best player of the season. He has 23 goals and 21 assists with Los Blancos this campaign and he will have one last chance to add to those impressive numbers on Sunday.


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