Attacker | Real Madrid | Brazil
They keep getting younger and younger.
Back in 2017, Vinicius was betrothed to join the European Champions the following summer for an eye-watering £39.6m. Indeed, so determined were the Bernabeu club to sign the pacey attacking midfielder that they were willing to wait a year for him to arrive.
Despite his obvious quality, it was tempting to wonder if it wasn’t all a bit much too soon. And even though Madrid fans, by and large, had lots to shout about in the meantime, there was still a sense of excitement about his arrival.
But it’s been a tough time to join up with Real Madrid. The departures of both Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo hollowed out much of the central core of the club’s recent success and in the early-season struggles many fans and media figures called for Vinicius’ inclusion in the team: for one so young, that’s not great position to be in either.
2018 Has Been…
… An exciting one.
Despite the calls from the fans since his arrival in Europe, he has appeared just a handful of times for Madrid in 2018, mostly as a substitute. But for an 18-year-old to feature at all in an attack that still boasts Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio and Isco is still an impressive feat.
Indeed, on his first start for his new club - a Copa del Rey victory which came in an away game in North Africa against Melilla - he produced two assists before scoring his first La Liga goal a few weeks later.
At Real Madrid, big signings sanctioned by the President tend to enjoy a certain political privilege. There is often pressure on them to play and a desire for them to thrive. But with that comes pressure to perform, too.
It’s best we withhold a bit of judgement and expectation in order not to place too much onto Vinicius’ young shoulders. With Madrid still battling to salvage something from their season, there’s enough expectation already.
Having said that, if there’s ever a time to step up and cement a place at a club so big as Real Madrid, it’s now. With so much uncertainty on the direction they will take next, there’s no better time to endear yourself to the Santiago Bernabeu fans.