He’s no more than an 18-year-old boy but he doesn’t care about the scenario, what’s at stake or the biggest rivalry imaginable. Vinicius Junior cost 45 million euros when he was just 16 and, yet again, he showed what he can become as Real Madrid visited the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona.
A passport issue meant he had to wait a year and a half to move and then an unknown reason saw him wait another six months before breaking into the team, but after a dozen matches he has shown exactly why Real Madrid signed him.
It’s true that Vinicius could have made better decisions and, if he had, Madrid would be in complete control of the semi-final tie, but nobody can deny that he showed Barcelona that he is to be taken seriously.
Of course, sometimes he came up short at the final hurdle, but anyone criticizing him must remember that he is still a child. He’s a young man who has been able to lead his team, Real Madrid, through their worst spell of the last decade.
Gerard Pique had to be at his best to stop the Brazilian on three occasions and he gave Nelson Semedo trouble, leading him to receive a yellow card.
Vinicius showed no regard for the occasion. The pressure didn’t bother him as he commanded the respect of the Camp Nou.
The former Flamengo star will improve more once he has fully settled into European football and to life here, as he continues to integrate in Spain. Now, nobody his doubting him and nor should they.
Madrid have improved a lot lately and he is a key factor in that growth, finally finding their feet under Solari after a troubled spell with Julen Lopetegui and also the Argentine.