Kyle Walker has joked that he didn’t ‘want to become a meme’ during his fight with Vinicius Jr during the first leg clash between the pair at the Santiago Bernabeu last week.
The Manchester City defender was in charge of keeping Real Madrid’s star man quiet, and did so for the most part, though Vinicius did score from outside the area in the first half.
And the duo were pictured hugging and exchanging words at fulltime after the first leg of the Champions League semi final ended all square, and ahead of the rematch Walker has explained what went on.
It turns out that he had taken exception to Vinicius Jr attempting to rainbow flick the ball over the defender’s head.
“Well I went to hug him, because he tried to rainbow flick me, don’t try that, because I don’t want to become a meme”, Walker joked.
“No but we had a good battle, I have a lot of respect for him, it when it has been a good game, a good a battle, and at the end of it, you show your respect. When the whistle goes tomorrow though, that goes out of the window, and it’s dog eat dog.”
“I wouldn’t say [Vinicius is] provocative. But he is a very good player, he does what he needs to do in order to help his team. I try not to get involved with players trying to wind me up, and trash-talking.”
“If he’s going down easy and asking for yellow cards, it’s part and parcel of the game. You’re gonna get it, but let’s not take his football away from him. He’s a top player.”
The two are set to be a key battleground again when City welcome their opponents to the Etihad on Wednesday, with both sides still fancying their chances of reaching yet another Champions League final.