Zinedine Zidane heaps praise on Vinicius Jnr for assisting Real Madrid’s winner against Inter Milan as Brazilian shakes off criticism just a week after Karim Benzema laid into him in Borussia-Park tunnel
Real, who had only picked up a point from their opening two group games, were facing another disappointing result as Zidane saw his side squander a two-goal lead in the Spanish capital.
However, Zidane’s substitutions paid dividends as the two men he chucked on in the second half combined to score the winning goal, with Vinicius finding an unmarked Rodrygo inside the box late on to smash in the winning goal.
Zinedine Zidane has applauded the impact that was made by Vinicius against Inter Milan
Vinicius set up his compatriot Rodrygo (left) to score the winning goal against Inter on Tuesday
It comes a week after the club faced a series of dressing room incidents that left the club in turmoil and Zidane facing the sack.
But a win against Antonio Conte’s side has somewhat relieved the pressure – and he has the Brazilian duo to thank for their efforts.
‘I am very happy for them, the change was to contribute,’ Zidane said after the 3-2 win at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.
Vinicius’ impact comes a week after Karim Benzema slammed him inside Borussia-Park tunnel
‘The play was very good. We had to add the three points and we, with the contribution of Vini and Rodrygo, who scored a very nice goal, we have to be happy. But with everyone.’
Vinicius’ contribution comes a week after Karim Benzema told Ferland Mendy not to pass to the Brazilian following his poor first-half performance against Borussia Monchengladbach at Borussia-Park.
The French striker was picked up by cameras in the tunnel at half-time plotting against his own team-mate, with Vinicius stood within earshot of the conversation.
Benzema has since apologised to Vinicius for the outburst, with the winger accepting that the remarks were in the heat of the moment.
And Zidane believes his team showed ‘real character’ to overcome recent controversies and win as a team.
Cameras in the tunnel picked up a conversation in French between Benzema (bottom right) and Ferland Mendy, who were reportedly talking about Vinicius (top left)
All has been resolved after Benzema apologised to the Brazilian winger for his outburst
‘The team shows an impressive character, all of them,’ Zidane added. ‘They can play well, do things well, we know the outside world is there, it is not new. It is lifelong.
‘We are here to work, we do it as a team, all the year there will be difficulties, there are no easy games.
‘Nobody wins easy. We know that when we play as a team, we are difficult to win.’