Tite will rotate his Brazil squad for their final Group G match, but opponents Cameroon still face an uphill battle to make the last 16 of the World Cup.

Brazil are already through to the knockout stage and will top the pool unless they lose and Switzerland win with a significant goal swing.

Opponents Cameroon have plenty still to play for, on the other hand, as they must win to have any hope of reaching the second round for the first time since 1990.

They have never won their final group game at a finals, however, while Brazil are unbeaten at this stage in a record 17 matches.

And the Selecao have their own goals in mind, looking to take nine points from a possible nine for the first time since 2006.

"Being first is always the goal, regardless of who the opponent is in the next match," said Fabinho, one of the men set to come into the XI.

"Our focus is always to win the games, try to earn nine points and give our best. 

"Whoever will play will have the opportunity to wear the shirt of the Brazilian national team in a World Cup, so the thought of a winning team has to always be this, to enter, give the best, win and be the first."

 

Tite's first-choice stars have set a high standard, winning both games without conceding or even facing a single shot on target. They are the first team not to face a shot on target in their first two games at a World Cup since France in 1998.

"Personally, I don't think [maintaining the standard] brings pressure to us," added Fabinho. "I think playing in a World Cup is every player's dream. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

"We have to face this with great joy, knowing the responsibility, come in and give our best. We know the way the team plays, the team is solid defensively.

"Sure, you have the worries of keeping that, the ideas, but I don't think it adds pressure. We don't feel that."

Cameroon have lost only two World Cup matches to South American teams, but both have been in their two meetings with Brazil, who have won all seven of their finals clashes with African opposition, scoring 20 goals and conceding just two.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cameroon – Vincent Aboubakar

Aboubakar has twice appeared from the bench, yet he could hardly have done more to earn a starting berth. Against Serbia, he became the first substitute to both score and assist a goal in a World Cup match for an African nation, bringing Cameroon back from 3-1 down to 3-3 within 11 minutes of his introduction.

Brazil – Vinicius Junior

The Selecao may not need to risk playing Vinicius, with Neymar already injured, but it must be tough not to pick a man in this form. Only Kylian Mbappe (23) was involved in more open play sequences that ended with a shot than the winger (15) through two matchdays. Only Mbappe and Ismaila Sarr (four) created more chances following a carry (three).

PREDICTION

Even with the potential for changes in the Brazil XI, the supercomputer has no doubts about this one. Tite's men are massive 72.7 per cent favourites.

Cameroon must win but are given only a 10.6 per cent chance, with a draw that would confirm Brazil as group winners rated at 16.7 per cent.

Richarlison believes God recognised his effort to get to the World Cup, as the Brazil forward turned his focus to Monday's clash with Switzerland.

Tottenham attacker Richarlison scored both of the Selecao's goals in their opening 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday.

After bundling in a rebound, Richarlison scored the goal of the tournament so far to double Brazil's tally, sending an acrobatic attempt into the left-hand corner.

Richarlison has scored nine goals in his last seven appearances for Brazil in all competitions, becoming the eighth Brazilian to score a brace on his World Cup debut, and first since Neymar in 2014.

Since his debut for the national side in September 2018, Richarlison has scored more goals in all competitions for Brazil than any other player (19).

 

However, his World Cup participation was in doubt when he suffered a calf injury while in action for Spurs against his former side Everton in October.

"A few weeks ago, I was crying, not sure if it would come," Richarlison said, as quoted by the CBF's official website.

"On the day of the exam, it was one of the longest days of my life. I remember it was a day off and I went for the exam, I stayed on the stretcher waiting for the result to come out.

"The doctors went back and forth, I got nervous and time went slowly.

"So, I think it was worth all the effort in my recovery. God saw my effort, saw how much I wanted to come to the World Cup.

"That's it, now it's time to continue. We did the main thing, which was to win the first game, which is very important. Now it's time to think about the second game and rest well. It was the first, now there are six more important games."

Brazil are favourites to top Group G, but Switzerland will be no pushovers. They won their first match too, beating Cameroon 1-0 thanks to Breel Embolo's goal.

Switzerland are looking to win their opening two games at a World Cup for the first time. They last won consecutive games in the competition in 2006 against Togo and South Korea.

Brazil will be without Neymar, however, with their talisman having suffered an ankle injury against Serbia that will see him miss the meeting with Switzerland, though coach Tite was confident the Paris Saint-Germain star will feature again in Qatar.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brazil – Vinicius Junior

Richarlison rightly took the limelight for his efforts against Serbia, but he is not the only quality attacker Brazil have at their disposal.

With Neymar out, the onus will be on Vinicius Junior – who has shown his world-class ability at Real Madrid – to step up.

Before he was taken off inside the final 15 minutes of Thursday's match, Vinicius had been involved of 50 per cent of Brazil's 16 shots, having four attempts himself and creating as many chances, including the assist for Richarlison's stunning second.

Switzerland – Breel Embolo

Embolo has scored in three of his last four matches for Switzerland, with all three of his strikes being the winner in each game.

The last Swiss player to score in consecutive World Cup games was Alexander Frei in 2006, while the only players to score in Switzerland's first two games at a World Cup are Leopold Kielholz in 1934 and Andre Abegglen in 1938.

PREDICTION

Brazil are unbeaten in their last 16 group stage games at the World Cup, and they are aiming to become the first team to go 17 without defeat in the group stages of the competition.

Opta's model backs them to do just that, giving Brazil a 62.7 per cent chance of victory.

The probability of a draw is 21 per cent, while Opta rate the likelihood of a Switzerland win at 16.3 per cent.

Casemiro is confident Brazil can get by without Neymar for now as he backed "the star of the team" to get fit in time for the business end of the World Cup.

An ankle ligament injury forced Neymar to be substituted late on in Brazil's 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday, as they got their Qatar 2022 campaign under way.

Richarlison scored both of Brazil's goals, and the Tottenham striker's form is one factor that gives holding midfielder Casemiro heart.

Neymar will certainly miss the game against Switzerland on Monday, and most likely the clash with Cameroon on Friday.

Whether he can recover in time to feature in the knock-out stages remains to be seen, but Brazil are optimistic.

Casemiro, quoted by Brazilian newspaper Globo, said: "If we keep talking about Neymar, we'll stay here for days, because of his importance.

"He's the star of the team, who makes the difference. But we have other similar players: Raphinha, Vini [Vinicius Junior], Richarlison. We have a wide range of options.

"Neymar is one of the best in the world, and unfortunately he will not be in the next game, but we have quality players to replace him, but of course not at his level."

Casemiro cited Lucas Paqueta of West Ham as a player who might come into the starting line-up and bring added verve in Neymar's absence.

"He is another important player," Casemiro said. "Very dynamic, modern. He plays outside, inside, false nine."

Defender Danilo is also on the Brazil sidelines for now, but Manchester United star Casemiro is backing both to pull out all the stops to be back in contention for Tite's starting side.

"Danilo and Neymar are working morning, afternoon and night, making the greatest effort in the world. They know they are important," Casemiro said.

"We have great professionals and health comes first. They will do everything to return 100 per cent as soon as possible."

Vinicius Junior feared he would miss Brazil's World Cup campaign through injury after being targeted by "dirty" challenges in the build-up to the tournament.

The Real Madrid winger has contributed to nine goals in LaLiga this season (six goals, three assists) – a tally only bettered by Robert Lewandowski (17) and Borja Iglesias (10).

Vinicius has also won 16 senior caps for Brazil after making his international debut in 2019, emerging as a key part of Tite's team ahead of the tournament in Qatar.

With the mid-season scheduling of the World Cup being criticised after several big-name players including Sadio Mane and Paul Pogba were ruled out through injury, Vinicius says both he and team-mate Rodrygo were targeted with unsavoury challenges by opponents.

"What happens on the field stays on the field, but it went too far," Vinicius told Reuters.

"You can come strong, but they were being dirty with their challenges. Rodrygo and I suffered a lot in those last games and feared the worst, to get injured and miss the World Cup.

"When you start to become an important player, rivals come after you harder. You have to learn to deal with that.

"I learned a lot from Neymar when he played for Barcelona, he suffered a lot too. Cristiano [Ronaldo], when he played for Real, suffered a lot too.

"But it was Karim [Benzema] who told me to stay calm and have peace of mind, because if the rivals are chasing you it is because you are relevant, because they are afraid of you.

"So that's why when I take the ball and burst forward, I do it with a vengeance. Yes, I can get hurt. But I'm prepared for the challenge."

Brazil get their quest for a sixth World Cup under way when they face Serbia on Thursday, looking to defend a fine group-stage record at recent editions of the tournament.

The Selecao are unbeaten in their last 15 World Cup group games, winning 12 (D3), with their last such defeat coming against Norway in 1998.

Toni Kroos was sent off in a 1-1 draw against lowly Girona as Real Madrid returned to the top of the table but dropped LaLiga points for only the second time this season.

Vinicius Junior's ninth goal of the season with just over 20 minutes of normal time remaining put Los Blancos in front at the Santiago Bernabeu.

That was not enough to secure the victory, though, as Marco Asensio was penalised for handball following a VAR check and Cristhian Stuani converted from the spot in the 80th minute.

Rodrygo had a late goal disallowed and Kroos was sent off for a second bookable offence as Los Blancos had to settle for a result that inched them a point above Barcelona at the summit, while Girona are out of the relegation zone.

Luka Modric shot wide in the second minute on his return from injury before Valentin Castellanos fired an early warning shot at the other end, drilling narrowly off target.

Rodrygo let fly with a rasping right-foot drive that was superbly tipped wide by Paulo Gazzaniga, but Girona continued to look dangerous and a header from captain Valery Fernandez flashed just past the left post.

A strike from Madrid forward Rodrygo rattled the right post and Yangel Herrera's left-foot effort for Girona crashed against the crossbar after Fernandez outmuscled Dani Carvajal.

There was a flashpoint early in the second half when David Lopez was perhaps fortune to only be shown a yellow card for a clash with Vinicius, who went down claiming the Girona defender headbutted him.

It was Vinicius who made the breakthrough in the 70th minute, Federico Valverde spinning away from a defender and giving the forward a tap-in from inside the six-yard box.

Gazzaniga brilliantly palmed Asensio's powerful strike against the bar soon after that opening goal, before the Madrid winger was adjudged to have handled in the box following a VAR check.

Stuani sent Thibaut Courtois the wrong way with a superb spot-kick, and there was more drama when Rodrygo found the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out as Gazzaniga had a hand on the ball when the striker poked it past him.

Kroos was then dismissed for a second bookable offence after a cynical stoppage-time foul as Madrid slipped up.

Neymar hailed the "deserved" choice of Karim Benzema as Ballon d'Or winner, after the Real Madrid star claimed the prestigious honour for the first time on Monday.

But the Paris Saint-Germain attacker criticised the eighth-place finish for Benzema's Madrid team-mate Vinicius Junior, with the Brazil international declaring his fellow Selecao star should have finished in the top three at a "minimum".

Benzema was crowned the world's greatest player for the 2021-22 season at a ceremony earlier this week, succeeding Neymar's PSG club-mate Lionel Messi while beating out Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane to top spot.

It came after a campaign that saw him lead Carlo Ancelotti's side to success in LaLiga and the Champions League, scoring 44 goals and adding 15 assists.

Neymar, who was not nominated this year, took to social media a day after the presentation to hail Benzema's victory, but added that Vinicius, another key Madrid star last term, deserved greater recognition.

"Benzema deserved [it - he's the] crack!" the attacker wrote on Twitter. "Now, for Vini Jr to be eighth - it's not possible! Minimum top three!"

After arguably the toughest domestic season of his career to date last term, Neymar looks to be back to his best this season, with nine goals and seven assists in Ligue 1 so far.

Benzema meanwhile has struggled with fitness issues, restricting the 34-year-old to just four goals and one assist in LaLiga.

Real Madrid saw their perfect start in LaLiga halted by 10-man Osasuna on Sunday, as Karim Benzema missed a late penalty on his return from injury in a dramatic 1-1 draw.

Injuries to Luka Modric and Thibaut Courtois left Madrid depleted at the Santiago Bernabeu, but they took the lead in fortunate fashion when Vinicius Junior's cross beat Sergio Herrera.

Courtois' replacement Andriy Lunin was caught out by Kike Garcia's header as Osasuna equalised shortly after half-time, but the hosts were awarded a penalty when David Garcia pushed Benzema, earning himself a red card.

However, Benzema hammered his spot-kick against the crossbar as Osasuna clung on, ending Madrid's 100 per cent record in LaLiga this season.

Osasuna gave as good as they got during a frantic opening, twice going close through tricky winger Abde Ezzalzouli on the break.

Benzema almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion from Vinicius' cross after 37 minutes, clipping the left-hand post with an acrobatic volley, but Madrid did not have to wait long for their opener.

Vinicius' in-swinging cross evaded Benzema before nestling in the bottom-right corner after 41 minutes, with a VAR review awarding the goal after ruling Benzema was not interfering with play from an offside position.

Osasuna needed just five minutes to level after the break, however, as Kike's glancing header looped beyond Lunin to find the top-left corner, stunning the Bernabeu into silence.

Just as Madrid appeared to be running out of ideas, Garcia's clumsy foul on Benzema saw the defender dismissed and handed the France striker the chance to win the match with 11 minutes left.

However, the Ballon d'Or favourite stuck the bar with a poor effort before heading Rodrygo Goes' stoppage-time cross wide as Osasuna held on.

Rio Ferdinand called on football federations to take more action against racism after a banana was thrown at Richarlison during Brazil's 5-1 friendly victory over Tunisia on Tuesday.

A banana appeared to land near Richarlison as the Tottenham forward celebrated scoring Brazil's second goal near the corner flag at Parc des Princes in Paris.

The incident comes after Vinicius Junior, Richarlison's international team-mate, was told by a Spanish agent to "stop playing the monkey" in relation to his goal celebrations.

Richarlison himself received criticism last month when he started doing kick-ups late in Spurs' 2-0 away win at Nottingham Forest.

And former England international Ferdinand believes it is wrong that, in his view, Richarlison received as much condemnation for his showboating against Forest as Tuesday's incident with the banana has.

"You've got your own kids waking up and saying: 'Dad, have you seen that banana thrown on the pitch at Richarlison?' It's madness," Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube channel.

"There was probably as much vitriol and hysteria on social media and in the media in general as there were with this banana incident, racism incident, as there was when Richarlison was doing kick-ups."

The Manchester United legend also believes more should be done by footballing powers, adding: "I'm not saying football can change or cure racism because I would be an idiot to think that.

"Football can play a good part in highlighting issues and standing together, standing strong and standing unified to make the authorities and powers that be put things in place to protect people, but it ain't happening. It's disheartening.

"Another day racism is okay and welcomed in football. Look at the reaction to the stuff with Vinicius Jr. I don't see the federations coming out and absolutely backing these players and going absolutely against it or a big press conference being called and saying 'we ain't having this'."

LaLiga has condemned the racist abuse of Vinicius Junior by Atletico Madrid fans before Sunday's derby clash at the Civitas Metropolitano.

Real Madrid won the contest 2-1 thanks to goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde, with Mario Hermoso's late shouldered effort nothing more than a consolation.

That ensured Madrid went into the international break top of the table with six wins from as many games, but the match was marred by the actions of some Atletico fans.

A large group were videoed singing racist chants about Vinicius just outside the stadium before the game. The Brazilian had attracted much of the pre-game focus in the wake of Spanish football agent Pedro Bravo telling him to "stop playing the monkey" on TV show El Chiringuito in relation to his tendency to dance when celebrating a goal.

Bravo apologised and insisted it was not his intention to offend.

During Sunday's game, there were also reports of racist chanting occurring inside the stadium, though the vile pre-game scenes had already become the focus thanks to the widespread sharing of videos on social media.

In a widely reported statement, a LaLiga spokesperson said: "We denounce all incidents inside and outside stadiums. We work with clubs to keep our football friendly and enjoyable.

"Hate speech has no place in La Liga and we always work with the clubs and the authorities to identify and bring to justice any such case."

Atletico supporters also threw objects on to the pitch as Vinicius and Rodrygo danced while celebrating Madrid's opening goal.

Rodrygo considers Karim Benzema "impossible to replace", but the Brazilian is nevertheless giving his all to fill in for the injured Real Madrid striker.

Madrid's opener came from Rodrygo in their 2-1 derby triumph at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, as Carlo Ancelotti's side kept up their 100 per cent record in LaLiga to top the table heading into the international break.

The Brazil international combined excellently with Aurelien Tchouameni to slot home in the 18th minute, before Federico Valverde made it 2-0 prior to the break.

Atleti fought back through Mario Hermoso's late goal, but it was not enough to inspire a full comeback – with the hosts' scorer subsequently sent off after picking up two bookings in as many minutes.

While captain Benzema is set to return after the international break, Ancelotti has been able to rely on Rodrygo to lead Madrid's line in the France frontman's absence, with the 21-year-old contributing to five goals in his last four LaLiga appearances.

Asked in a post-match interview with Movistar+ how difficult it was to replace Benzema, Rodrygo said: "I've always had confidence, but last season I scored more goals at the end [of the campaign] and now I have scored them at the beginning as well.

"I'm coming off a very good season and I want to continue like this, because I [can get] even better.

"It's impossible to replace Benzema, but I try and I think I'm doing well. I have to say that I do things differently to him, we have changed the style of play."

Defender Dani Carvajal, meanwhile, said Rodrygo had given Madrid "wings in attack", even if Benzema was "fundamental" to Los Blancos.

Madrid have won all nine of their matches this season in all competitions, and they are the only side in Europe's top five leagues with a perfect record.

It marks the third time Madrid have won their first nine games in a single campaign after 1961-62 and 1968-69, when they won their opening 11 games in both campaigns.

"We are very happy. We started the season at 100 per cent, winning everything," Rodrygo said. "We are going into the break wanting to rest, play with our national teams and come back better."

Rodrygo celebrated his opener with compatriot Vinicius Junior, who in the wake of being crudely told to "stop playing the monkey" by a football agent in midweek, was the target of racist chanting from some Atleti supporters outside the Civitas Metropolitano prior to kick-off.

"It's a pleasure to play with him, something very special, without a doubt," said Rodrygo of his team-mate, who played a key role in Valverde's goal, hitting the post after a brilliant run, which enabled the midfielder to tuck home on the rebound.

The match was not without its contentious moments, with Hermoso's second yellow particularly harsh. Having previously been booked for dissent, the centre-back was adjudged to have lashed out at Dani Ceballos, though replays showed it was a questionable decision.

"Very bad taste, we have lost a very important match. We have not been so bad, we have not deserved the defeat, but it is football," Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak told Movistar+.

On Hermoso's red card, Oblak said: "I've seen the video. The referee was very close and I don't know what he saw, but it's his decision and on video it's easier than [live], it's true.

"It didn't have to be yellow, there were still three minutes left and we could have taken advantage."

It's not often Real Madrid get painted as the good guys, but Sunday's derby clash with Atletico was one of those few occasions.

As Carlo Ancelotti's Los Blancos left the Civitas Metropolitano with a 2-1 win, there was little doubt that they were the better side on the day.

But, strangely for a fixture of such magnitude, the actual football was sadly almost a sideshow as Spanish football's racism problem reared its head once again.

Through no fault of his own, Vinicius Junior had been the chief focus in the build-up after Pedro Bravo, an agent who appears on Spanish football show El Chiringuito, made a racially insensitive comment while on TV.

Referencing Vinicius' harmless tendency to celebrate goals with a little dance, Bravo suggested the Brazilian should "respect your mates and stop playing the monkey", comments that unsurprisingly drew criticism from all over the football world.

It was heart-warming to see how many people rallied around Vinicius in the wake of Bravo's ridiculous outburst. Many of his international team-mates and Brazil great Pele issued messages of support urging him to dance on.

Vinicius himself made a statement vowing to keep dancing, and Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus dedicated a similar celebration to his colleague earlier on Sunday.

That should have been the end of all the pointless debating about whether the celebration is disrespectful or not (it clearly isn't), but unfortunately it wasn't.

As Atletico 'ultras' queued on their way into the stadium before kick-off, offensive chants targeting Vinicius were being sung by hundreds of fans. Not a few, hundreds, and video footage brought the scenes to attention on social media.

What makes those chants even more disappointing is that few would've been hugely surprised. Atletico ultras have a history of disgracing their club. In 2018, 30 of them were apprehended in Bruges for making Nazi gestures, according to Marca; and as recently as April, they were hit with a partial stadium closure in the Champions League due to similar behaviour from fans against Manchester City.

Ultra group Frente Atletico were banned from the club's old stadium the Vicente Calderon in 2014 after clashes with Deportivo La Coruna fans led to the death of 'Jimmy', a member of the latter's Riazor Blues, who was attacked and thrown into the Manzanares river.

Despite that ban, the group's attitudes were never completely banished, and Sunday's pre-match scenes were a grim reminder of Atletico's failure as a club to stamp out far-right ideologies within its fanbase.

Thankfully, though, Vinicius is a brave young man who wasn't about to suppress his personality and mentality to appease some Neanderthals.

As the pre-game chants foreshadowed, Vinicius' first touch was vociferously jeered by Atletico fans. But the Brazilian amusingly responded with the most extravagant six-yard pass he could think of, dragging the ball back with his right foot before flicking it back down the flank to Ferland Mendy with his left all in one motion. Essentially, it was as close to dancing as he could've got in that moment.

It wasn't long before he was dancing for real, though. Vinicius wasn't even involved in the goal, as Rodrygo produced an emphatic finish from Aurelien Tchouameni's gorgeous pass – the scorer then darted towards the corner flag and began to strut his stuff.

Vinicius was quickly on the scene, gyrating with extra exuberance as Atletico fans threw objects on to the pitch around the celebrating Madrid players, most of whom embraced the former Flamengo talent with greater vigour than they did Rodrygo.

There was no mistaking Vinicius' influence just after the half-hour mark, however. The winger left Marcos Llorente in his dust and darted into the left side of the penalty area before prodding an effort goalwards. It fell kindly to Federico Valverde, who smashed in from close range.

Atletico players dished out rough treatment to Vinicius, perhaps as you might have expected as their biggest attacking threat in the absence of Karim Benzema, though he continued to play his natural game, toying with Llorente on several occasions and even attempting an audacious rainbow flick over Axel Witsel, which certainly angered the home support.

In the end he never quite got the moment of personal jubilation many might've hoped he'd have, with Atletico spending much of the second half on top as they tried to produce a comeback.

But Mario Hermoso's shouldered late goal proved only a consolation as Atletico failed to rise to the occasion, with Madrid holding firm enough to continue the excellent start to their title defence.

The action, and even the result, won't be the post-match focus, however. The vile scenes from earlier in the day will be what this match is remembered for – Atletico's response to that is far more important than how they ultimately react to this defeat.

Atletico Madrid fans targeted Vinicius Junior with offensive chants before Sunday's clash against rivals Real Madrid and threw objects on to the pitch as he celebrated Rodrygo's opening goal.

Much of the pre-match focus was on Vinicius after agent Pedro Bravo made a racially insensitive comment on football TV show El Chiringuito.

Bravo said Vinicius should "stop playing the monkey" in reference to the Brazil international's tendency to dance when celebrating a goal.

Many of the sport's biggest names rallied behind Vinicius, with Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus even dedicating a similar celebration to his international team-mate earlier on Sunday.

Despite so many messages of support, a group of Atletico fans disgraced themselves as they queued to enter the Civitas Metropolitano, singing offensive chants that Vinicius was the subject of.

Vinicius and Rodrygo then celebrated with a dance as the latter opened the scoring, and several objects were subsequently thrown in their direction from the stands.

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has pledged his support to Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior ahead of the blockbuster derby at Wanda Metropolitano.

The Brazil international was subjected to comments with apparent racist connotations by Spanish football agent Pedro Bravo.

Commenting on Vinicius' dancing goal celebrations, Bravo told El Chiringuito: "You have to respect your opponents. When you score a goal, if you want to dance Samba, you should go to [the] Sambadrome in Brazil. You have to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey."

The remark subsequently drew widespread criticism, with compatriots Pele and Neymar leaping to Vinicius' defence, while Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes suggested Bravo should be arrested.

Speaking ahead of the Madrid derby, Los Rojiblancos president Cerezo has also offered his support to the 22-year-old, while urging a collective show of "respect". 

"I'm going to ask Vinicius to teach me how to dance samba for when I have to go to Brazil in the next festivals in Rio!" he joked to Marca.

"What we have to do is make sure that if Vinicius does score any goal today and if he wants to celebrate it, he celebrates it in a correct way and with respect for all the public in front of him.

"The players manifest themselves as they want, the only thing there has to be is respect for the people who are on a field that is not theirs."

Los Blancos will bid to maintain their perfect start to the 2022-23 season, having won all eight of their matches across all competitions so far.

Meanwhile, Atletico are aiming to bounce back after their 2-0 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior insisted he "will not stop dancing" after comments with apparent racist connotations from Spanish football agent Pedro Bravo.

Bravo commented on Vinicius' dancing goal celebrations this week, telling El Chiringuito: "You have to respect your opponents. When you score a goal, if you want to dance Samba, you should go to [the] Sambadrome in Brazil. You have to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey."

The remark drew much criticism, with fellow Brazil internationals Neymar and Bruno Guimaraes leaping to Vinicius' defence, the latter saying Bravo should be "jailed".

Legendary forward Pele also denounced Bravo's comments, writing on Instagram: "Football is joy. It's a dance. It's more than that. It's a real party.

"Although, unfortunately, racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism every day in this way: fighting for our right to be happy and respected."

Bravo later apologised on Twitter, saying he had "misused" the word.

Vinicius has now spoken out himself on the statement, saying in a video posted to his Instagram: "As long as the colour of the skin is more important than the brightness of the eyes, there will be war.

"They say that happiness bothers. The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more. But my desire to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that.

"I was a victim of xenophobia and racism in a single statement. They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I'm not going to stop.

"I always try to be a professional and an exemplary citizen. But that doesn't click, it's not trending on the internet, nor does it motivate cowards to talk aggressively about people they don't even know.

"The script always ends with an apology and 'I've been misunderstood.' But I repeat it for you, racist: I will not stop dancing. Whether at the Sambadrome, at the Bernabeu or wherever."

Karim Benzema will have to sit out Sunday's derby, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has announced.

The France international came off with a knee injury in Madrid's Champions League win at Celtic earlier this month and has not featured since.

Ancelotti previously said Benzema could be fit for the derby with Atletico Madrid this weekend, but also noted caution at the time by saying if he did not recover, he would also not be available for the upcoming international break.

With Benzema absent from Didier Deschamps' squad announcement for Les Bleus this week, it seemed unlikely he would feature at the Wanda Metropolitano, which Ancelotti confirmed at his press conference on Saturday, saying: "I'm not saying [who will play up front], Benzema won't be there.

"He has started working individually and will be ready after the [international] break."

Ancelotti also spoke about the recent controversial comments from Pedro Bravo, a senior agent in Spain, on Vinicius Junior.

Bravo appeared on television show El Chiringuito earlier this week, saying Vinicius had to stop dancing when he celebrated a goal, accusing the Brazilian of "playing the monkey".

Bravo has apologised and said he used the wrong expression, insisting he was sorry for causing offence.

"It's something that we don't touch on in the locker room, these are issues that are not normally discussed in the locker room, we usually talk about football," the Madrid boss said.

"Racism is one thing and what happens in football is another thing. We have not touched on this issue of racism because the player has responded very well."

When asked if he had spoken to the player about it, Ancelotti said: "No, because I'm not his father, nor am I his brother. I'm his coach.

"Nothing is wrong with him. He is playing with joy. Vini is joy, happiness."

Madrid have won all eight of their games in all competitions this season and will come up against an Atletico side who suffered a Champions League defeat at Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.

Ancelotti is not underestimating Madrid's local rivals, though.

"It will be a competitive match. They don't expect anything new and it will be a very competitive duel, a good football match, because there are very good players on both teams," Ancelotti said. "The match is open, but there is nothing definitive."

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