Real Madrid is known for its pursuit of the emerging stars of world football and bringing them to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu to grow and flourish. Vinicius Jr attracted the top European clubs when he showed his brilliance in the Brazilian League as well as for the under-19 Brazil National Football Team. Real Madrid had failed to sign Neymar a few years back which came back to haunt them as their arch-rivals, Barcelona, signed him in 2013. However, the transfer was successful as Vinicius Jr joined the capital giants in 2018.
The hype and attraction around this transfer were immense as Ronaldo had just left and Vinicius was deemed to be the next superstar signing. But the hype turned into criticism as Vinicius had a decent debut season for Real Madrid. His lack of finishing was one of the attributes he was highly criticized about. His dribbling was on point and he could easily get past defenders with his pace and quick footwork but he lacked the composure of a finisher.
The constant abuse and demotivation affected his performances as he scored only 11 goals in 87 appearances in the last 2 years. But at the end of last season, Zidane trusted him in big games and he responded quickly such as his brace against Liverpool got his team to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
But this season, Vinicius has made a positive turnaround with already scoring 5 goals and 2 assists in 8 games. Carlo Ancelotti is the key figure behind his success and the 21-year-old has delivered whenever his manager has trusted him. His recent performances have brought excitement among fans and the comparisons have already started. People are comparing him to Neymar, who developed himself into a superstar at Barcelona.
Neymar isn’t a consistent goalscorer but he is a huge threat when running with the ball, gliding past defenders and providing goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates. This season his goal and assist tally of 3 is not up to his standards but if Messi, Mbappe and Neymar start clicking then it could be the deadliest trio in the world.
Neymar has completed 26 dribbles this season, meanwhile, Vinicius has 32 successful dribbles. So it won’t be controversial to say that Vinicius looks more threatening than Neymar this season.
Vinicius has also registered more touches this season compared to his previous season (62 and 57) and he is more heavily involved in the action at the top end of the pitch. Vinicius is such a threat when carrying the ball just like Neymar when operating the left-wing position. He’s showing all of his best qualities and offering fans everything they hoped for when he first arrived for €46 million in 2018.
LaLiga has lost both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the last few seasons. Javier Tebas, LaLiga President, has mentioned Vinicius Jr and Ansu Fati could be the heirs to the thrones. Vinicius is happy and enjoying his football under Ancelotti, and he has never looked so dangerous in a Madrid shirt. Worryingly for his opponents, there could be more to come.