Vinicius expected to make Flamengo debut at age of 16
Real Madrid target Vinicius Junior is expected to debut for Flamengo today at the age of 16, meaning his debut would come earlier than for Neymar or Jesús.
The Brazilian league gets underway this evening, and all eyes will be fixed upon a certain Vinicius Junior.
Vinicius could debut for Flamengo
The Flamengo youngster could make his professional debut at the tender age of 16, as his side face Atlético Mineiro. The attentive gaze of Real Madrid will be upon him. Vinicius has already undergone a medical with the Bernabéu club, and is expected to sign in the near future.
The player gained plaudits for his performances with Brazil’s Under 15 and Under 17 sides, as well as impressive displays for Flamengo’s youth teams. Madrid have moved ahead of their rivals, including Barcelona, in the race for Vinicius’ signature. Los Blancos are well aware of the player’s potential, and have encouraged Flamengo to give their new jewel his professional debut earlier than normal.
Neymar and Gabriel Jesús were older
In fact, Vinicius would debut tonight at the age of 16 years, ten and ten months (He turns 17 on the 17th of July). The two other Brazilian stars to have emerged in recent years, Neymar and Gabriel Jesús, did not make their professional debuts until 17 years and one month, and 17 years and 11 months respectively.
Vinicius is right in the glare of the limelight. Flamengo confirmed at the start of the week that he will form part of their first team squad, and that he will wear the number 20 shirt. In his first training session alongside those that, not so long ago, were his idols, Vinicius entered through a tunnel of players giving him encouraging pats on the back.
Real Madrid's new jewel expected to play on the right
His debut will be in the mythical Maracaná, which Flamengo are using for this match, despite it not being their regular home. As of yesterday, 31,500 tickets had been sold. Many of those fans will have come to see Vinicius take to the pitch. His acceleration to the brink of the first team has been accelerated by the fact that Flamengo will face San Lorenzo, of Argentina, in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday. As such, coach Zé Roberto is more willing to introduce players that would not normally be immediate starters.
Although it is not certain that he will start, in the training sessions leading up to the Atlético Mineiro match, Vinicius lined up on the right wing. However, he is more natural through the middle or on the left.
Vinicius is a physical, skillful, and goal-scoring forward. Today he will jump in to the view of Real Madrid, and the football world.