Who is Real Madrid new signing Vinicius Junior? The next big Brazilian superstar?
Due to FIFA rules, the teenager had to wait until he was 18 before a transfer that was agreed on last summer with Madrid could go through. Now, Vinicius has also joined up with Madrid for pre-season training in the United States as he looks to impress new manager Julen Lopetegui with International Champions Cup on the horizon.
Here’s the lowdown on the Brazilian.
Born on July 12, 2000, in Sao Goncalo, Brazil, Vinicius Junior joined CR Flamengo’s set up in 2010 and began his career as a defender. Astonishingly, he made his Under-15s debut just three years later.
A year later, Vinicius headed to England to join Reading but returned back to his native without making a single appearance for the senior side, although he massively impressed for the club’s U-21 side, scoring 21 goals in 22 games.
It was in the international stage where Vinicius achieved stardom first. In 2015, the youngster scored 6 goals to help Brazil win the South American U15 Championship. He was named the player of the tournament and since then, the Brazilian starlet has gone from strength to strength.
Vinicius achieved his highest level of fame as a youth player in 2017 when he led Flamengo to victory in the Sao Paulo Youth Cup, the largest under-20 football competition in Brazil. Following his eye-catching displays, Flamengo signed him up on a three-year professional deal as soon as he turned 16.
In May 2017, the Brazilian finally made his debut for the first team, playing the last 10 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Atlético Mineiro. Two days later, he extended his contract with the club until 2022. 10 days after his senior debut, the teenager’s planned transfer to Madrid was made official.
At international stage, Vinicius has been spectacular for Brazil’s youth teams and was named 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup’s best player whilst he also was the tournament’s top-scorer with 7 goals.
Style of play
Vinicius Junior is a left-winger by trade but due to his versatility, he can also play on the right or as a second striker. He is quick, skilful, agile and can get past opponents in a blink of an eye. Such is the 18-year-old’s explosive pace that it can cause endless nightmares to a full-back.
With tricky feet and great balance, the forward can leave a defender for dead. He possesses the burst of pace that bamboozles defenders and is extremely dangerous in the penalty box due to his predatory eye for goal. Vinicius is a very good passer of the ball, can switch play with one diagonal long ball and possesses the vision that belies his age.
While defending one-on-one, Vinicius is almost unstoppable as he uses his body and physique exceptionally to glide past players with ease. Also, he is defensively diligent as he shows eagerness to press high and backtrack when his team is under pressure.
What does the future hold?
There is no doubt that Vinicius Junior is a sublime talent but Madrid have to be patient with him before he starts showing his true colours. The 18-year-old has everything to become a top-quality player and become a mainstay.
He has arrived at Madrid with a lot of pressure and if he remains focused on his goals, there is no reason why Vinicius cannot be the next big star at the Santiago Bernabeu.