News From Spain: Five things you might not know about Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid’s Brazilian attacker has been one of the top performers in LaLiga Santander this season, and is even among the top scorers.

21 years old and with a promising future ahead of him, Vinicius Junior is the owner of the eternal smile, the player who has fun with the ball at his feet and spreads positive energy to teammates and fans. The player who plays every game as if it were his last and is on his way to becoming one of the best attackers in LaLiga Santander after a dazzling start to the 2021/22 season, ranking among the top scorers in the competition and becoming a key player for Real Madrid. A player who was undoubtedly born to score and to bring the fans all over the world to their feet, with his quality, his impossible tricks, and his superstar definitions.

This is his fourth season for Real Madrid in LaLiga Santander, since, in the 2018/19 campaign, he played his first minutes and alternated matches with Real Madrid Castilla. In the 2019/20 season, he established himself as a first-team player for Los Blancos and played a total of 29 games, in which he scored three goals. The same figure he achieved during the last 2020/21 season. That said, in the current campaign he’s taken things to another level: 8 goals and 2 assists in Real Madrid’s first 13 games in the current edition of LaLiga Santander. World star numbers. And yet, there are some things you probably still don’t know about Vini Jr.

1. He is the youngest foreign player to score in ElClasico.

In his second season in Madrid (2019/20), Vini Jr. scored the goal that paved the way for a 2-0 win in ElClasico at the Santiago Bernabéu. But it didn’t stop there. That goal made him the youngest foreigner to score in the history of ElClasico, at just 19 years and 230 days, surpassing a record that belonged to Messi (19 years and 259 days). Nationality aside, the first place among the youngest is held by Raúl, who scored at the age of 18 years and 95 days in ElClasico in the 1995/1996 season, also played at the Bernabéu.

2. He started his career in futsal

Like many youngsters across Brazil, Vini Jr was quick to sign up for futsal at the age of seven with Canto do Rio Foot-ball Club, based in the southern part of Sao Gonçalo. Due to the long distance between his home and the training centre, which included a short ferry ride, Vini Jr moved in with his uncle Ulisses. There, Vini Jr learned to dribble and explore open spaces, which improved his agility, reflexes, and great footballing potential. At the age of nine, he tried out for Flamengo, but despite being praised, he had to wait another season to sign for the club.

3. He loved playing video games… with Messi

As a child, Vini Jr loved to play football in the street with his friends. In the time he spent at home, he divided his attention between his mobile phone and video games. At the time, the current Real Madrid player turned a lot to FC Barcelona, because he loved playing with the Argentinian genius Lionel Messi. Now, older and with a more established career, the passion for games continues. But now he probably plays with a different team…

4. Like Kaka, Vini Jr doesn’t like partying

It is true that it was always a recommendation from his personal staff, especially when he started to take his first steps for the Flamengo first team, where the expectation of the fans and the press started to grow. But Vini Jr has never really liked the nightlife. Reluctant to party, the youngster prefers video games, mainly with friends.

5. Passion for basketball

Like Neymar, one of his great football idols, Vini Jr. also has a passion for another sport: basketball. An NBA fan, Vini Jr also follows Brazilian sport a lot, especially the NBB (Novo Basquete Brasil) team Flamengo, where he used to watch the games from the stands. Now, from afar, he maintains his connection with the Rio club and with several NBA franchises by posting photos on his social media profiles.

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