Juni Calafat convinced everyone, from Florentino Perez to Jose Angel Sanchez, that Vinicius Junior was a player that Real Madrid should sign, even talking the president into spending 40 million euros on a player who was, at the time, just 16 years old.
Once the signing was sealed, Calafat didn’t leave the teenager in the hands of fate but instead helped his family and the player to adapt to the opportunity he had been given.
Vinicius came from a more than humble neighborhood that was dangerous and brought threats on a daily basis.
During the 14 months between his signing and arrival in Madrid, the club monitored him closely and sent instructions and guidelines in every part of his life, even personal.
The lack of minutes early in the 2018/19 season was the beginning of the end for Julen Lopetegui, as the club wanted the Brazilian to play but the coach left him in Castilla or in the stands.
Santiago Solari has used him a little more given he knew him from Castilla, but the club want him to be a regular in the starting XI.
He showed against Real Sociedad that he can cause opposing teams problems and thrill the supporters, as he did again alongside some youthful teammates in a 3-0 win over Leganes on Wednesday.
His football is energy, which is exactly what has been missing at Real Madrid in recent months.
Calafat can sleep well after Wednesday’s display.