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Vinicius Junior Raises Concerns Against Playing Conditions As Brazil Start its Campaign at Copa America

Vinicius Junior (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Vinícius Júnior didn’t mince words when criticizing the Copa América’s playing conditions, officiating, and the organization CONMEBOL after delivering a standout performance in Brazil’s 4-1 victory over Paraguay on Friday.

The Real Madrid forward scored twice in a commanding win at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, propelling Brazil to four points and second place in Group D, trailing Colombia. This puts Brazil on course to advance to the quarterfinals

“The Copa América is always challenging due to the pitches, the referees—who consistently seem to be against us—and the way CONMEBOL treats people,” Vinícius commented after the match.

“It’s always tough, but we have to stay resilient. We can only make our statements through our victories. When we do speak out, CONMEBOL says we’re talking too much.”

Brazil had a lackluster start to the tournament with a goalless draw against Costa Rica on Monday, during which Vinícius faced scrutiny and questions about his role in the team.

Vinicius Junior (Photo: Laliga)

However, coach Dorival Junior praised the forward, describing his performance against Paraguay as “almost flawless.”

“I had a fantastic match today, showcasing the level of player that I am,” Vinícius asserted.

On the other hand, Paraguay’s coach Daniel Garnero was less complimentary.

“[Vinícius] plays in a way that opponents find difficult to accept,” Garnero remarked. “That’s why we have referees. They need to set those boundaries.”

The condition of pitches at the Copa América, where natural grass has been laid over artificial turf at six venues, has been a recurring topic throughout the tournament.

Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni criticized the pitch quality at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta after the opening match, stating it was “not suitable for these kinds of players.” Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez went further, calling it “a disaster.”

In Saturday’s Group A fixtures, defending champions Argentina, already through to the quarterfinals, will face Peru in Miami, Florida, while Canada takes on Chile.

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