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“Best defender I’ve ever faced” – Vinicius Jr lauds Manchester City star ahead of Champions League showdown



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Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr has praised Manchester City defender Kyle Walker ahead of an upcoming UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash.

The 23-year-old came up against veteran full-back Kyle Walker at Wembley Stadium last weekend, when England suffered a 0-1 loss to Brazil in an international friendly, as part of preparations for this summer’s European Championship in Germany.

Walker, who has faced Vinicius on several occasions for Manchester City, was forced off midway through the first-half of the friendly due to a suspected hamstring problem, potentially ruling the Englishman out of the Blues’ upcoming clash against Real Madrid.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are set to meet in the Champions League for a third consecutive season next month, with Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti meeting in the quarter-finals of this year’s competition.

The Sky Blues are the current holders of the European trophy, having beaten Real Madrid as part of an historic maiden Champions League triumph last season.

City beat Real Madrid 4-0 in the second-leg at the Etihad Stadium last season, securing a thumping 5-1 aggregate victory over the La Liga giants.

Bernardo Silva scored twice during the emphatic win, and Walker was subject to major plaudits after successfully nullifying the threat of Vinicius Jr.

City travel to the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday 9th April before the second-leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 17th April, with the winners facing either Arsenal or Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Speaking after Brazil’s game against England, Vinicius Jr lauded Walker ahead of the crunch quarter-final meeting between the two clubs.

“We want to play against the best, Walker, I always say, he’s the best defender I’ve ever faced and it’s always a very good duel.

“He respects me a lot and I respect him a lot. Each one defends their side with the greatest will in the world.’

“Every time a player leaves the pitch injured it’s very sad, not only for the player but for all of us who are there on the pitch.”

Walker is set to undergo scans at the City Football Academy on Thursday to determine the extent of the full-back’s hamstring injury.

The Englishman is a doubt for Sunday’s meeting with Arsenal in the Premier League, with City facing three fixtures before the quarter-final first-leg in the Spanish capital.