The story of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr is not new football dugouts. When Karim Benzema taunted Vinicius by saying “He is playing against us”; perhaps he didn’t mean that in bad intention. But it was something that's not expected from a player of such stature.
Football can be cruel. You are on the verge of losing a losing two consecutive Champions League match and if you are not willing to fight with a knife between your teeth, then you don’t have Real Madrid DNA. What Benzema did is against the spirit of the team and could badly affect the confidence of young players like Vinicius. But it’s not new and nothing but an outburst of human nature.
Here are other instances when teammates were visually and verbally engaging with each other in bad spirits.
1. Raul Gonzalez's devastating phrase to the homegrown players
The former captain was demanding by his very nature and the truth is that Raul wasn't easy to make friends with whilst wearing the famous shirt. On a pre-season trip to Irdning, the captain of the dressing room at that time overtook a number of younger players in what was a continuous running exercise. "If it were up to me, I would send you all back to Madrid today," Raul declared.
2. From tackling CR7 in training to disappearing from regular training
and anticipates a move, yet instead of making contact with the ball, Manu Hernando a youth defender clatters into the Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s foot in training, leaving him in a lot of pain. Cristiano makes no effort to hide his anger, despite the immediate apology from the Castilla defender.
It was an incident that cost the defender a further chance to train with the senior team that season. It's unknown if this was related to the challenge on Cristiano. But it’s quite evident that it’s because of that tackle he disappeared from further training sessions under Zidane.
3. Benzema's message to Lyon veterans
It can also happen the other way around with a young player standing up to veteran leaders in a dressing room. None other Karim Mustafa Benzema stood up for himself during his time at Lyon.
In his first senior call-up, the forward hit back at his teammates who were laughing along. Benzema felt that laughter was for him. He didn’t hesitate to say
"I don't know what you all find so funny, because I've come here to take your job," Benzema declared, leaving the room stunned. The legend grew more. He played for the greatest club in football after that.
4. Messi's anger towards Riqui Puig
This was another training session incident, where the bright academy prospect dared to nutmeg the great Lionel Messi, and he didn't take it very well.
Messi actually left the training session after that. It occurred during a Rondo drill and Gerard Pique had to mediate the issue in the end. Furthermore, the gesture given by Benzema towards Vinicius was also done by Messi towards Isaac Cuenca in the dugout. Well, the greatest player of all time also loses his calm sometimes.
5. Ferran Torres hits back at his former captain Dani Parejo at Valencia
In an interview with MARCA, Ferran Torres just before joining Manchester City openly hits back at his former teammate and captain Dani Parejo at Valencia.
When asked about the then-club captain Dani Parejo, he said-
"I have to say that after three years' experience in the first team, I have grown mature and mentally strong, but I didn't have that at 17 years old,"
"Parejo is a great player, but personally I've never had a relationship with him. When I got into the team at 17 many weeks passed before he said a simple 'Good morning' to me. I don't think he was a good captain with me."
6. Ramos apologetic for his behaviour to Reguilon
"Although it might not look it, these are quite common situations, but that's no excuse; my reaction should not be that we always go to a confrontation, right, Regui?"
These were the words of Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos to Sergio Reguilon after the left-back involuntarily hit the veteran in the face during a small handball-type drill and Ramos made an angry gesture towards the young defender kicking the ball at him twice.