Vinicius, one of the keys to the Real Madrid squad’s upturn

26 Jan 2019

Physical condition, the decisions of Santiago Solari, the confidence that victories give, the unity of the players and, of course, Vinicius Junior.

In the dressing room at Real Madrid, they have not hesitated to point out that the Brazilian has been one of the keys to the side’s upward trajectory.

His skill and smile on the field has given the team the joy they were lacking, making them much more dangerous than they were when the season began.

Vinicius knocked on the door to the starting line-up and has now broken through under Solari to become of the team’s most important players.

Everyone is celebrating his explosion, starting with his teammates, who are already viewing him as a worldwide star of the future.

At 18 years of age and after the game against Girona, his name was the first on the lips of his teammates.

“He’s a guy with self-confidence, an attacking mindset, no fear and goes right at the opposition, which makes him different so he’ll be a star,” said Lucas Vazquez.

“He has a lot to learn and still has to grow but he brings a lot of freshness and a lot of daring and that’s very important for an attacking player,” Solari said of his development.

“He has the support of the senior players in the squad, who are the lifeblood of the team.”

If there is a person who has been most key to the player’s explosion, aside from ‘Vini’ himself, then it is the Madrid coach.

He welcomed and advised him in the Castilla side when Julen Lopetegui didn’t want to use him and introduced him to the first team dynamic when he got the job.

Always aware that he is only 18, he has been polishing the diamond in the rough and given him minutes to help him become a key player.

Apart from their unquestionable technical qualities, players in the Real Madrid dressing room should always have a certain way of carrying themselves.

“He is a very humble boy,” is the word from the offices, where they pointed to a story that occurred on 19 October that shows how he operates.

Lopetegui left him out of the squad prior to Real’s game against Levante and the Castilla bus had already left for Vigo to contest their Segunda B game.

They feared in Madrid that the teenager would be upset by the situation and tactfully asked him if he wanted to play against Celta B.

Vinicius didn’t hesitate to answer the call and travel alone to Vigo to play and help out his side.

He scored a great goal too before being unfairly sent off, a ban which was rescinded, and won the admiration of the club for his behaviour, which from day one has been unlike what you may expect from the stereotype of a Brazilian starlet.

His cheerful football and playfulness on the field is not quite as consistent with his life off the field, which is orderly and 100 per cent professional.

“We knew we weren’t wrong,” is the word from the club, who must be rubbing their hands at the thought of what he will become in two or three years.

As Solari says, there is still a lot of room for improvement and all agree that he has to improve in being more clinical and with his final ball but everyone is already in love with this version of Vinicius.

“We have to congratulate Vini because he is a star and is contributing a lot to the team. He’s a phenomenon,” said Alvaro Odriozola.

“He is contributing a lot to the team. He has became very important a he showed against Girona and we’re delighted with him.”

But if there are some words that will really have been welcomed happily by Vinicius it will be those from his captain.

Although he insisted that his eruption must be treated calmly, he also added to the shower of praise.

“He’s young but he’s in a great moment and can give Real Madrid a lot of things.”

Vinicius is listening, taking note and smiling, because that is how he faces everything in life.

He never lost his smile when he went to sit in the stands and now that he is living his dream, his face is lighting up more than ever.

“His optimism is contagious,” said the Real coach, who has been surprised with how quickly the youngster has settled over the last month.

“He arrived at 17 and it seems like he is already 28 so his rise has been surprising.”

Next Match

Levante vs Real Madrid

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