At full-time of the game in Madrid, Walker was spotted by television cameras walking up to Vinicius with arms outstretched and a big smile, hugging him in what became something of an iconic image of sportsmanship.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s second leg at the Etihad Stadium, the 32-year-old explained that he was joking with the young Brazilian about his attempt to “rainbow flick” the ball over his head.
RESPEITO ACIMA DE TUDO! 👏👏👏 Vini Jr. foi pra resenha com o Walker depois de ter dado uma trabalheira na marcação pro defensor do Manchester City. ISSO É CHAMPIONS! 🥰 #CasaDaChampions pic.twitter.com/qUntNEf25M
— TNT Sports BR (@TNTSportsBR) May 9, 2023
“I went to hug him because he tried to rainbow flick me,” Walker told reporters.
“I was like, ‘Please don't try that again and make me a meme’.
“Boxers have a battle and shake hands after. You give the level of respect because they deserve it.
“Carrying a massive club over the line in the Champions League, you show your respect. Tomorrow night, I'll give him the respect he deserves at full-time but before that is dog eat dog.”