Vinicius Junior is one of the young players Real Madrid could build their future around.
At the age of just 19, he is already making quite a name for himself at the Spanish capital. But even before he arrived and became a member of the Los Blancos squad, he was a big hit back in Brazil.
The youngster played a total of 49 games for Flamengo, scoring ten and assisting four goals in the process, which quickly got the attention of the Galacticos, who pounced and got their man for a reported fee of £38.7m.
But despite a great first campaign in Spain – during which he tallied seven goals and 13 assists across all competitions – injuries hampered his blistering development and as a result, his rise to stardom was put on hold.
In the current campaign, Vinicius has fallen down the pecking order and as a result, only has 699 minutes under his belt so far.
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But that’s not all. A recent report coming from El Desmarque stated the Brazilian forward might be offered to Manchester United in order for Real Madrid to finally land Paul Pogba.
And even though he’s been unlucky and hasn’t been shining as much as of late, Vinicius is still a wonderful player.
But in order to justify that, we sought the opinions of those who know him best to show Man United fans what he could offer in the event a part-exchange swap deal does go through…
Balague is renowned for his knowledge of the Spanish top-flight and when he speaks about the division people listen.
Recently, when talking on BBC Radio 5 live Football Daily Podcast (via Soccer Laduma), Balague showered the young Brazilian with praise, even comparing him both to Cristiano Ronaldo and the Brazilian Ronaldo.
Here’s what he said in full:
“Vinicius has brought to the side an electricity, a sharpness and bravery they did not have.
“In my eyes, he has got a bit of both Ronaldos. When he starts running with the ball – the power, the strength, the pace, the control he has with the ball at his feet – is similar to that of the Brazilian Ronaldo.
“It doesn’t mean he is going to be as good as either of the two Ronaldos, and from here he has to have the right mentality, to work hard, be lucky with injuries, and have the confidence of the coaches. But, right now, he’s got everyone in his pocket. Real Madrid’s fans absolutely adore him.”
The former Real Madrid forward, who’s currently acting as their spokesman, seems to believe Vinicius Junior is already an impressive player who possesses the necessary speed, power and technique.
Since Butragueno was a forward himself, he obviously knows what he’s talking about and also knows what it takes for such young players to succeed, especially at such a big club as Real Madrid.
When speaking after the Galacticos’ match with Espanyol, he told Movistar (via Goal):
“I think he completed a great match. I was an attacker myself and I know what I’m talking about.
“For someone to create as many goal scoring chances, he is just wonderful. He dribbles past opponents, he is powerful and he’s quick. He’s completed an excellent match.”
Maybe the best proof of how good and talented the youngster actually is comes from a former Barcelona player, Ronaldinho.
If an icon of your eternal rival is showering you with praise, then that must mean something, and the Brazilian believes that his young compatriot is bound to become one of the best players in the world in the near future.
Ronaldinho spoke to reporters in Colombia before an exhibition match, as quoted by Marca:
“[Vinicius] is already at one of the best clubs in the world. I think he will soon be there, among the best.”
Even though he is currently struggling to fully enjoy his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, Vinicius is very much a talent bound to take over the world sooner rather than later.
If Manchester United really can’t keep Pogba at the club, getting the young Brazilian in exchange could potentially be an incredible deal for them.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte should be wary of his loanee’s wishes to one day play for Liverpool…