Real Madrid wasted no time at all in making their mark on the Madrid derby.
On a highly charged night at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, it was the visitors who took the lead after just 16 minutes with Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior duly busting out dance moves in celebration.
The decision to express themselves in such a way came in response to criticism directed towards Vinicius in regards to the way that he’s marked some of the goals that he’s scored for Los Blancos.
Vinicius dancing controversy
This particularly came to the fore when agent Pedro Bravo was accused of racism in comments for which he has since apologised where he said that Vinicius needed to stop ‘playing the monkey.’
According to the BBC, Vinicius said of the comments and similar rhetoric: “Weeks ago, some people started to criticise my dancing. But the dancing is not mine alone.
“They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paqueta, [Antoine] Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha… Brazilian funk singers and samba dancers, Latin reggaeton singers, Black Americans.
“They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. They say that happiness bothers. The happiness of a black Brazilian being successful in Europe bothers much more.
“But my will to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that.”
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Vinicius and Rodrygo silence the haters
The likes of Neymar and Pele, as well as Real Madrid itself, all came out in support Vinicius in what made for a worldwide story that dominated the pre-match conversation over the past few days.
As such, there could hardly have been a more powerful way for Real to mark their opening goal against Los Rojiblancos than for their two Brazilian forwards to dance in celebration.
And it came after a fine goal with Rodrygo breaking Diego Simeone’s back-line before firing a lethal finish into the roof of the net, proceeding to dance in joyous fashion with his compatriot by the corner flag.
So be sure to check out the ecstatic scenes down below both for the sheer quality of Real’s football and the raw power of Vinicius’ reaction within the context of such an emotional week.
Video: Vinicius marks Rodrygo’s opening goal with powerful celebration
WHAT A GOAL RODRYGO! TCHOUAMENI 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/OsPkcer7wD— TC (@totalcristiano) September 18, 2022
Rodrygo and Vinicius dancing at the Wanda😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/2A7i16FNTz— mx (@MessiMX30iiii) September 18, 2022
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to respond.
Vinicius expressing himself
It couldn’t be any clearer from Vinicius’ comments that the dancing celebrations are nothing to do with disrespect, but rather, endure as an expression of joy which is intrinsic to Brazilian culture.
And at the end of the day, it’s always great to see footballers feeling as though they have the freedom to express who they are and what it is that’s truly special to them as individuals.
So while, sure, throwing shapes might leave some Atletico fans tearing their hair out, the broader context of the situation is that Vinicius is doing something that means a lot to him personally.
After all, lest we forget that football, like dance, is ultimately an expression of oneself and boy did Vinicius make an emphatic demonstration of exactly that at the Wanda – fair play to you, Vini.