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Barcelona legend Carles Puyol tells Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr he must change his attitude to silence his critics

  • Carles Puyol questions Vinicius Jr's attitude
  • Brazilian winger finished fifth in Ballon d'Or voting
  • Has scored three, assisted two this season

WHAT HAPPENED? Vinicius has generated headlines for his emotion on the field, drawing the ire of rival players and fans alike for his perceived off-ball antics. And Puyol has weighed in on the debate, claiming, perhaps unfairly, that Vinicius needs to focus on what he can do with the ball.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I would love to talk to him as a soccer team-mate and tell him what I think and feel. He is a great player who makes a difference and who should be admired. If he changed his attitude he would have more recognition," Puyol told reporters.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has repeatedly backed Vinicius in the face of commentary and criticism, most recently claiming the winger was "disrespected" in Madrid's 2-0 win over Athletic Club in January. Vinicius was the most fouled player in La Liga last year.

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Carles Puyol BarcellonaLaLigaVinicius Jr Real Madrid 2023-24Getty Imagesvinicius ancelottiGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? Vinicius is projected to line up for Los Blancos against Braga in the Champions League on Wednesday.