REAL MADRID

Vinicius: ready for anything they throw at him

Vinicius, con Benzema en el Ajax-Real Madrid.

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In the past week, Vinicius has shone against Barelona in the Camp Nou, in the Madrid derby and last night at the Johan Cryuff Arena.

Ámsterdam

Vinicius has shown himself ready for everything that has been thrown at him over the past week. Clasicós, derbies and big European ties, none have intimidated the 18-year-old, who shone on each occasion.

He played a part vital part in a goal in each of those games over the past week: last Wednesday he initiated the move that led to Lucas Vázquez’s goal at the Camp Nou; his trickery won the penalty that Sergio Ramos converted in the Wanda Metropolitano last weekend; and last night in Amsterdam, he carved open the Ajax defence to tee up Karim Benzema’s opening goal, which the Frenchman expertly rifled into the top corner.

Vinicius has seriously shaken things up in Santiago Solari’s side and has not even had to do so by scoring goals: his assist in Amsterdam brings his total to nine this season.

Former Madrid player, coach and sporting director Jorge Valdano said before Wednesday’s game in Amsterdam that Vinicius did not in any way remind him of Robinho (another winger taken from Brazil to the Bernabéu at a young age), adding that: “he clearly has real confidence in the talent he has.”

During his side’s 2-1 defeat, Ajax coach Ten Hag had clearly seen in Vinicius the aura of a star, stating after the game that: "he made it very clear that he is a great player.”

It seems that Brazil head coach Tite has also seen it and has sent his scouts to watch the 18-year-old against Girona on Sunday, with the possibility of calling him up for friendlies against Panama and the Czech Republic in March.

The talk of the Johan Cryuff Arena 

The young Brazilian’s shining performance was the talk of the press room at the Johan Cryuff Arena, with Sander Zendelrijk, editor-in-chief of Ajax Life summing it up in one sentence: “Mazraoui played well, but he only had one mistake and Vinicius killed him. That's what big stars do.”

Local Dutch press members, meanwhile, were also quizzing their Spanish colleagues for more details about the young starlet.

Viniciusmanía, it seems, is not only a symptom of madridismo.