‘Everyone went crazy’ when Vinicius Jr. scored, leapt into Real Madrid crowd

Sports

He ended up being marched out of the Bernabeu by the police and facing a hefty fine, but Real Madrid fan Gabriel still says Sunday was “the best day of my life.”

It was Vinicius Junior‘s goal, Madrid’s crucial third that started it, in a 5-2 win over Celta Vigo in LaLiga during the first game back at the stadium with fans in 560 days.

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The Brazil winger couldn’t contain his emotions, jumping over the pitchside advertising hoardings — and breaching COVID protocols in the process — to celebrate with fans in the lower tier.

“We were literally sat in the second row,” Gabriel told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez. “It’s been two years without going to the stadium, Vinicius scores the goal for the comeback, he jumps into the stands two metres away from you… I decided to go for it.

“My friend and I looked at each other and went running towards him. Everyone went crazy, filming it. I was wondering if we’d appear on camera.”

The images of Vinicius being mobbed by ecstatic fans, with Gabriel right next to him, were beamed around the world on TV and featured on the front page of Spanish newspaper Marca the next day.

“I’m in shock,” Gabriel said. “I haven’t counted, but I must have had at least 150 messages on my phone. People that I haven’t seen since primary school! Every two seconds I’m getting notifications on Twitter.”

There was just one problem, though.

“I don’t know if it was the euphoria, but my mask had dropped and I didn’t realise,” he said. “I was only thinking about Vinicius, the goal, the comeback and the moment.”

Fans had been warned to obey strict COVID-19 protocols inside the stadium, staying in their allocated seats and wearing masks at all times.

“Vinicius went back to the pitch and I sat back down, still celebrating,” Gabriel said. “I turn around and there are four police officers on their walkie-talkies. They grabbed me and said they were going to throw me out!

“Everyone around me was saying ‘he hasn’t done anything, the poor kid.’ They took me outside, asked for my ID and ticket, and gave me a fine. They said they don’t know how much it was, but it would arrive in the post. I hope it doesn’t!”

The moment may end up costing Gabriel a few euros, but the experience of celebrating with one of your team’s players after they score a goal? Priceless.

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