For a coach renowned for the tight relationship he has with his players, Zinedine Zidane has a lengthy list of players he has given the cold shoulder to.
Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Sergio Reguilon and Dani Ceballos are all in there and the team of Zidane cast-offs now has a new winger in Vinicius Junior.
The fall-outs are never explosive. Bale maintains there was never a single row with the Real Madrid coach.
Vinicius Jnr has slipped out of favour under Real Madrid manager Zinedine ZidaneInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Even when he opted not to travel to Manchester for last season’s Champions League quarter-final second leg because he knew he would not play a single minute, the conversation between the two was brief and not at all explosive.
But what the Zidane battles lack in intensity they make up for in duration. Those close to the him say once you have a cross next to your name then it’s very hard to get back in favour for as long as he is in charge.
Zidane's relationship with Gareth Bale broke down, as it did with James Rodriguez (R)
Dani Ceballos and Sergio Reguilon are two other players who did not get into Zidane's plans
That’s bad news for Vinicius, who already had a shaky relationship with the manager even before, as Diario AS reported this week, things took a turn for the worse in Manchester last year when he was dropped and then read his mobile through the team talk before not even warming up during Real Madrid's Champions League exit.
For all of Zidane’s incredible achievements, he still has doubters questioning his ability to improve young players.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
When Vinicius turned up at Madrid in 2018 aged 18 and with Ronaldo Nazario sat alongside him in his presentation he was very much the teenage Cristiano Ronaldo – a physical phenomenon, full of tricks and bursting with potential. But he was going to need moulding into a player who could turn the brilliance into goals and assists and it’s still a work on progress.
Vinicius Jr is now in danger of being cast adrift by his manager and is struggling for minutes
The club have always seemed keener than Zidane to take the now 20-year-old to the next level at all costs. They want a return on the £40m (€45m) they spent on him when he was still a 16-year-old at Flamengo, where they left him on loan until he turned 18.
That much has been clear by the reluctance to loan him out. Ronaldo Nazario was at his presentation that day in part as a Madrid ambassador and in part as Vinicius’ guardian and guarantor.
When Ronaldo went on to buy Valladolid just over a year later, it seemed