The Precocious Vinicius: The teenage driving force behind Madrid's resurgence
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Real Madrid forked out a hefty sum of €45m for a 16-year-old Brazilian who had hardly tasted any senior football. Upon his arrival in the summer of 2018, the prodigy started under Santiago Solari for the reserve side and was only limited to 12 minutes of first team action in Julen Lopetegui's rather dismal reign.
Now 18, the man from Rio has exploded onto the scene at Real and certainly has some senior members of the squad looking over their shoulders. The flare and zest that Vinicius Jr. brings to the game have made him a fan favourite at the Bernabeu and he is adorned by his teammates and the manager alike.
Vinicius instantly announced his arrival to the footballing world as soon he touched the ball as a Los Blancos player for the maiden time against Juventus in the ICC trophy, dazzling the crowd with his quick feet and decisiveness.
Since Solari took charge of the first team Vinicius has hit the ground running, impressing and gaining in confidence with each passing game. So much is the faith shown by the players and Solari in the individual's ability that he is already being considered indispensable.
The inevitable departure of Cristiano Ronaldo left a huge void in the squad but the recent showings from the Brazilian have proven that he is the one tipped to take up the mantle.
The boy from Flamengo has got it all and plays a dynamic and exciting style of football exactly the way his Portuguese counterpart used to and still is today. He has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name in the last four games at the Bernabeu. Not bad for an 18-year-old playing alongside some of the best players in the world.
Still, these impressive stats fall short of doing any justice to what he brings to the team as a whole. He has seemingly slid into the plethora of stars Madrid already boasts and has become untouchable in his part of the field.
Some exuberant displays followed by the recent encounters with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid while going neck to neck against defensive heavyweights such as Gerard Pique and Diego Godin have unveiled the maturity and nerves of the young man.
The audacity of this pass; exhilarating!
Vinicius' unpredictability is his biggest strength combined with his ability to alter the momentum of Real's fluid attacks which is one of the main reasons behind Madrid's upturn of fortunes recently.
His every move with the ball is erratic yet composed which makes it hard for the opposing defenders to predict the next one. The end product still lacks a bit but Vinicius will surely make up for it with plenty of time on his side.
The frisky versatile teenager will only get better as time progresses and Real Madrid will be more than willing to hold onto their horses and reap the rewards.