19 G/A in 21 Games
Vinicius Jr. is indeed a STAR. He has broken out to become one of the best attackers in the world right now. With the loss of stars in La Liga like Ronaldo and Messi in recent years, it seems now La Liga has one of the most electric talents in the world again.
“Vinicius is a world-class player now, he can decide games on his own” - Casemiro
Real Madrid paid a fee of $49.50 million in the transfer of Vinicius Jr. from Flamengo in the summer of 2017. He was touted as a young player with the potential to become one of the best in the world. A transfer like this to such a big club like Real Madrid comes with a lot of pressure and expectations.
He started his Real Madrid as well as an 18-year-old can. When he played you could see flashes of greatness, but with young players, there is often inconsistency. In some games, he would look great, and in some games, he would lack that aggressiveness or decision-making ability.
Sometimes not making the right decision led to some frustration from fans and rifts with his teammates. He would do things like not pass the ball in scoring positions or lose possession unnecessarily. This led to an incident in October 2020 in a Champions League match against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Karim Benzema was filmed during the halftime of the game. He was talking to Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy and said “He (Vinicius) does what he wants. Brother, don’t play with him…oh my God. He is playing against us.”
Ferland Mendy responded, “When he becomes scared, he loses what makes him great.”
In hindsight Ferland Mendy was right. What makes Vinicius Jr. great is the god-given speed and ability to drift past players like they aren't even there. What was missing in his game was never the ability it was the Mentality and Belief.
This was a turning point for Vini. One of the players he probably looked up to criticized him not only behind closed doors but for the whole world to see. That was most likely a very hurtful moment for him and it could lead to a lot of self-doubts.
So What Would He Do?
Would he let this moment be a defining moment in his career? It could lead to a complete loss of confidence and if things went wrong it could've even made him lose his place at Madrid.
Instead, he let this moment drive him. Over a year later he has been very consistent and you can clearly see that Mentality and Belief. He and Benzema now are if not the best, one of the best attacking duos in the world.
Real Madrid now finds themselves in a promising position not only for this season but for the future. They are first in La Liga with a 10 point lead, along with qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
With Benzema and Vinicius on form and firing, they will be competing in all competitions. It is not crazy to think this team has a chance to win the Champions League, and they are already favorites to win La Liga.
Looking forward to the future it's been highly reported that Real Madrid will be the front runner to sign Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from PSG next summer. Without a doubt, if it happens this will be the best transfer of all time, an absolute bargain. An attack including Vinicius Jr. and Kylian Mbappe will be absolutely electric. They can dominate and grow together for years to come. The future looks very bright for Real Madrid.
Have you ever been in a situation where you hear that your teammate criticized you when talking to other teammates?
If so, how did you respond?
Previously we mentioned the situation between Benzema and Vinicius Jr. These are things that will happen in a team. In a team setting with so many different personalities and play styles clashes like these can happen. Teammates will disagree with things that happen in games, and even practices.
All young soccer players can take a lesson from this. The most important thing is, to be honest with your teammates. If teammates are talking behind each other's backs what is that going to do? Nothing.
If you disagree with something work it out as a team. Chemistry and Communication are two of the biggest factors of success for a team.
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