There is no doubt that every Real Madrid player had a stressful Sunday evening as they lost to FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, above anyone else on the pitch, Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior was particularly agitated, which was made even worse by taunts coming from Barcelona defender Eric Garcia.

Top scorer Karim Benzema was sidelined due to injury and a huge weight was placed upon the shoulders of young Vinicius. He did have a prime opportunity to score in the first half to cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opening goal. However, he wasn't able to maximise a one-on-one duel against Marc-Andre ter Stegen and instead dove over the keeper's challenge.

This led to a war of words with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who was seen grabbing a frustrated Vinicius in a headlock while exchanging a few words and leading him away from Ter Stegen. Centre-back Eric Garcia could not help but join in, and was caught on camera having a verbal swipe at the Real Madrid forward.

According to Marca, Garcia said, "You next year for the Ballon d'Or, yes, the Ballon d'Or."

Of course, this was not a compliment. Unfortunately for Vinicius, he could not find a reply on the pitch as Los Blancos remained scoreless throughout the important tie. Even Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was spotted speaking to the young Brazilian from the sidelines, although it is unclear what was said.

Benzema's absence put a lot of pressure on Vinicius, with manager Carlo Ancelotti deciding against starting with neither Luka Jovic nor Mariano Diaz. He opted to play Luka Modric in a false 9 position, which threw off the entire balance of the team.

Barcelona took advantage of the situation, breaking Real Madrid's winning streak of five consecutive El Clasico encounters. Even Xavi himself was shocked by his team's dominance, and Ancelotti was forced to admit that the disaster was caused by his tactical decisions.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid are still 12 points ahead of Barcelona in La Liga, with second-placed Sevilla still nine points behind.

Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior has been key to their success so far this season AFP / Fayez Nureldine