It’s been a whirlwind time for Brazilian youngster Vinicius Junior, who has reportedly signed a deal with Real Madrid and made his professional debut against his idol
Many Brazilian stars have shone in the Spanish league over the years, and at Real Madrid in particular. From Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo, to Marcelo and Casemiro, the list is long. The latest addition might well be Flamengo’s Vinicius Junior. What do we need to know about the potential ‘Los Blancos’ signing?
Brazilian and Spanish press have both reached a consensus that Vinicius Junior is heading to Real Madrid, the day he turns 18 in July 2018, and would therefore be allowed to sign his professional contract with the current champions of Europe.
Until then, he is expected to continue to develop at the ranks of the team of his heart, Flamengo. Five-months-ago, the 16-year-old was still part of the U17 side, where he proved to be a cut above everyone in his age group. The situation was not any different when he was selected to represent Brazil U17 in the South American championships, guiding his country to the title after ending top scorer with eight goals, and being chosen as the player of the tournament.
Throughout the flow of the competition, the youngster displayed plenty of tricks and skills, which definitely won him the attention of all the present European scouts, including Real Madrid and Barcelona’s.
Following promotion to Flamengo’s U20 side, Vinicius maintained a high level of performance and was one of the main stars of the prestigious Copinha tournament that takes place each year in São Paulo. In his last game for the U20’s, the attacker was able to score two goals and rack up two assists in the derby against neighbors Fluminense.
Everyone watching had the impression that this kid is way too good for his age. As a matter of fact, he looked way good even against players four years older than him. At that moment, the Mengão’s head coach Zé Ricardo decided to listen to the media and the fans, by promoting the versatile forward to the first team – as he included him in the official squad for the Brazilian league 2017.
Vinicius JR, or VJR11 – as his fans like to refer to him – is capable of occupying any position in attack, including operating as winger on both flanks, as an attacking-midfielder right behind the striker, or as a false nine. In this sense, he is similar to Neymar in terms of versatility.
The Barcelona striker made his league debut for Santos in 2009, when he was 17, but as Globoesporte has highlighted, Vinicius has made his professional start a year younger. On the same occasion, in the game against title contender Atlético Mineiro, last weekend, Vinicius made several dreams come true in one go. Playing for the team of your heart is one thing, but playing at the legendary Maracanã stadium as well as facing your number one idol [Robinho] and exchanging shirts with him after the game, certainly makes it a day to remember.
With this boost of confidence that the teenager has received, he will be eager to keep up the hard work in training in order to keep on the first team roster. It is vital that Vinicius manages to keep his feet on the ground and concentrate on playing football, while leaving his Real Madrid adventure until 2018.