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Vinicius, between Robinho and Neymar


Florentino Perez knows how to take advantage of these few quiet weeks of summer between competitions to keep Madrid in the headlines. A day after the presentation of Luis Enrique as the new Spain coach, the stage was set for Real Madrid to unveil Vinicius, the teenager that club the paid €45 million for last year. So far that’s Odriozola and Vinicius, who will soon be joined by Courtois and, maybe, Hazard. We must forget about Neymar and Mpabbe (I would prefer the latter), but, above all, we must forget about the 50 goals scored a year by Ronaldo that Madrid had gotten so used to over the last few years.

What I have seen so far of Vinicius, I have liked: he has nerve, audacity, strength and resolve.But, of course, I’ve only seen him play in Brazil. Is he a Robinho or a Neymar? That will only be known when he takes the leap into European football. For now, Madrid have left him without a number, presenting him yesterday with a numberless jersey. He wants to stay, but Madrid are considering loaning him out. That could happen, unless Julen Lopetegui sees him worthy of a bigger role during the preseason campaign.

I have already mentioned Neymar. He would certainly be a big signing who would compensate for Ronaldo’s departure. But he is not a popular figure after his shenanigans at the World Cup. The other big one would be Mbappe, who, unlike Neymar, left Russia as a better player, and, at just 19, is now a World Cup winner. He will be a serious target for Florentino. So too, of course, will be Eden Hazard and a proven goal scorer like Lewandowski, Cavani or Kane. But only Mbappe or Neymar could partially fill the void left by Ronaldo.