Karim Benzema was as good as his word in the second half of Real Madrid's draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach on Tuesday night.
After delivering the 'don't give it to him' line to Ferland Mendy, he duly refrained from passing to the Brazilian for the rest of the game. Mendy gave Vinicius the ball just three times.
The Real Madrid dressing can be a tough place and Vinicius found that out in the tunnel, or more to the point, didn't find that out in the tunnel because Mendy and Benzema were speaking French. Multilingual Thibaut Courtois was also in earshot and would have understood, Vinicius will probably have learned via social media.
Karim Benzema was caught telling team-mates he thought Vinicius was 'playing against us'
Vinicius (top centre) was stood within earshot when Benzema was speaking to Ferland Mendy
The clip did not just show a division among team-mates. It also showed a discrepancy between senior player and coach.
Benzema is clearly not behind Zinedine Zidane picking the sometimes erratic winger ahead of other players. Vinicius had a very below par Clasico.
He was guilty of wasting three or four second half breakaways picking the wrong pass, making the wrong decision and on one occasion even taking the ball off of Benzema when the Frenchman was better placed. It had been a similar story in the first half in Germany.
Mendy listened to Benzema and gave Vinicius (pictured) the ball just three times on Tuesday
Benzema is clearly not happy with Zinedine Zidane selecting Vinicius over other players
'While the dogs bark, the No.9 passes,' said Benzema on Instagram on Wednesday morning. To his credit he had not posted a picture of himself celebrating a goal with Vinicius. His take on the incident will be that it was frustration from a first half in which Vinicius had been out of sorts. If Madrid were going to win they would probably have to do it without him.
This is not the first time Benzema has taken Vinicius to taks: 'Lift your head,' he could be heard saying last December in a game against Espanyol. What happens now? Probably nothing. Zidane will dismiss it as something that happens in football in his next press conference. Does it shine a light on the cliques and cracks in the Madrid dressing room? Yes and no.
Luka Modric and Vinicius' Brazilian team-mate Rodrygo shared a joke during the Clasico when the Croatian gave Rodrygo a pass while he was still waiting to be brought on. 'Relax, I'm not even on the pitch