Vinicius criticizes US pitches at Copa America

Vinicius criticizes US pitches at Copa America

Vinicius Jr has slammed the quality of the pitches and referees at the Copa America in a scathing rant aiming organizers COMNEBOL after Brazil’s 4-1 win over Paraguay.

The Real Madrid winger scored twice in Friday’s game in Las Vegas to leave Brazil on four points, two behind Group D leaders Colombia, and on track to reach the quarter finals. 

‘The Copa America is always difficult because of the pitches, because of the referees – who always go against us – and because of the way CONMEBOL treats people,’ the 23-year-old said after his man-of-the-match performance. 

‘It’s always difficult, but we have to stay strong. We can only talk by winning. When we talk, CONMEBOL say we talk too much.’ 

Vinicius, who’s faced criticism in Brazil’s underwhelming start at the Copa America, wasn’t the only high-profile figure to voice his displeasure about the state of the pitches at the tournament, three years on from the US partially hosting the 2026 World Cup.

Brazil’s Vinicius Junior wants the quality of US pitches to improve before the 2026 World Cup

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni also bemoaned the quality of the surface at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta after Lionel Messi & Co. faced Canada as the Copa America opener, saying the field was ‘not suitable for this kind of players.’

Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez described the pitch as a ‘disaster.’

Vinicius, who was hailed by Brazil manager Dorival Jr for his ‘almost perfect’ display against Paraguay, wasn’t remembered fondly by opponents after scoring a brace.

Argentina's Lionel Scaloni also complained about the surfaces played on at the Copa America

Argentina’s Lionel Scaloni also complained about the surfaces played on at the Copa America 

‘[Vinicius] has a way of playing which is not easy for opponents to accept,’ Paraguay manager Daniel Garnero said.

‘That’s why the referee is there… the referee has to impose those limits,’ he added in a swipe at Copa America officials.

Brazil will next face Colombia in a clash that will decide who will win Group D while Paraguay has already been eliminated before its final group game against Costa Rica.

Costa Rica can advance with a win against Paraguay, a Brazil defeat and a six-goal turnaround between the two to end up with more goals scored than Brazil. Currently, Brazil has scored four goals. Costa Rica hasn’t scored. 

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