Vinicius Junior has dedicated his goal celebration to Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring a hat-trick to help Real Madrid beat rivals Barcelona 4-1 in the Spanish Super Cup final.
This was the fifth edition of the Spanish Super Cup since it moved from a two-team format to four teams in 2019/20. Rather than just having the La Liga champions face the Copa del Rey holders, the runners-up for each competition are also involved (or the highest-ranked La Liga side if one of those four teams qualified in more than one way).
That was the case this season, with Barcelona winning La Liga, while Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey and were league runners-up — meaning third-placed Atletico Madrid joined Copa del Rey runners-up Osasuna. But, this was the first season of the new format in which the final pit the La Liga winners against the Copa del Rey winners.
And, even better for the neutrals, it was El Clasico. Historically, this has been a very even fixture, with Real Madrid winning 105 to Barcelona’s 100 alongside 51 draws. But each side has gone through periods of domination.
At the moment, we’re in a good run for Real Madrid. After losing three straight games last season, including the Spanish Super Cup final, Real Madrid have now won three in a row against Barcelona. The first of those victories was a 4-0 win in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final (overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit), before the 2-1 comeback victory earlier this season.
This was another commanding victory, and Vinicius Jr was at the heart of it. Taking place at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Real Madrid were 2-0 up within 10 minutes against Barcelona, thanks to a pair of goals from from Vinicius Jr. After his first goal, in the seventh minute, Vinicius Jr ran to the corner flag to celebrate, with the “Siuuu” celebration made famous by Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Vinicius Jr dedicated the celebration to Ronaldo, whose current club Al-Nassr play at the King Saud University Stadium.
“The celebration was for Cris, because he’s my idol, and now he is playing here,” he said after the game.
“The people in Saudi Arabia have a special love for me, I am very happy for what we did today. To beat Barcelona 4-1 is very hard and today we had an almost perfect game.”
Real Madrid have now scored 10 goals in their last three games against Barcelona, across three different competitions::
⚽️ Vini Jr
⚽️ Vini Jr
⚽️ Vini Jr
⚽️ Vini Jr
The Bs and the Brazilians. 🇧🇷#ElClásico
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) January 14, 2024
Barcelona pulled one back just after the half-hour mark, but Real Madrid’s two-goal advantage was restored after Vinicius Jr completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot having been fouled ion the box by Ronald Araujo. It made him the first Brazilian to score a hat-trick for Real Madrid against Barcelona, and the first player to net a hat-trick in a Clasico Spanish Super Cup final.
Rodrygo rounded off the scoring in the second half, securing Real Madrid’s 13th Spanish Super Cup title, now just one behind Barcelona. It was also the biggest Spanish Super Cup final win since the competition moved to a single-leg format. It’s the biggest single-match margin of victory in the Spanish Super Cup final since Barcelona lost 4-0 to Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of their 2015 meeting.
Vinicius Jr also caught the eye of fans for mocking the Barcelona bench by showing the scoreline with his hands, during a match in which tensions were high. And while Real Madrid fans will have loved seeing the Brazilian get one over their rivals, Vinicius Jr himself has admitted he needs to set an example for kids watching.
“I’m sad, because it’s going to come out in the press that I’ve done this or that,” he added.
“I try to stay calm and focused on the match, to do my best, but sometimes it’s not just me. I’m not a saint, sometimes I talk too much or do dribbles that I shouldn’t, but I’m here to improve and set an example for the kids who are watching me. I want to get better.”