One of the most exciting young talents in the world game is starting to live up to his promise with outstanding form at Flamengo, but is it the right time to move to Real Madrid?
It’s not breaking news that Vinicius Junior is the next big thing in Brazilian football. Real Madrid deciding to acquire his services for over $50 million was already an indicator that the most expensive teenager in history is not just like any normal kid. The Flamengo sensation has indeed started the year in the best way possible.
Flamengo have done their best to try to keep Vinicius Junior in their ranks as long as possible, but it is still not clear whether he will make the jump to Real Madrid in July or finish the calendar year, including the Brazilian league and the Copa Libertadores, with the Carioca side.
Vinicius is already Flamengo’s leading scorer in 2018 with eight goals, having comfortably surpassed last season’s tally already. With a very impressive skill-set, an explosive burst of pace, the ability to take on opponents, cross the ball or even place it at the back of the net with brilliant finesse, Vinicius is already showing signs as to why he could be the next big thing to come out of the South American continent.
However, it is probably wiser to extend his stay at Flamengo as he is gaining a lot of game-time and playing at a high level in Libertadores, which is excellent for the development of someone at his age. Let’s remember that Neymar was 21 the day he signed with FC Barcelona, whereas the youngster won’t turn 18 before July.
Competition at the back-to-back champions of Europe is extremely high, with current stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and Gareth Bale, or the less experienced ones such as Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio. Joining Madrid to ply his trade at the ranks of their Castilla side would be considered a downgrade, whereas getting loaned out year after year to a different European club risks ruining his development, as was the case with several other promising talents.
Therefore, it is imperative that Vinicius Junior makes the right decision concerning his future, because talent alone is by no means enough to achieve success and live up to potential in world football. It needs to be accompanied by experts before making any important step that can affect the player in the long-run.
It is very unlikely that Brazil boss Tite will select someone he has never tested at least once, to the World Cup, and it is probably the right decision to not choose Vinicius as any failure could hinder his future and ruin his reputation before his career with the national team has even started. It was the case with Douglas Costa who did not impress in Copa América 2015, which led to a large wave of Brazil fans putting a veto on him.
But there are bigger decisions to be made in the youngster’s life over the next few months and whether one of the world’s most exciting young talents is ready to join the ranks of Real Madrid.