Real Madrid: "Rodrygo has more killer instinct than Vinicius"

World Cup winner Rivaldo gave his opinion on the two Real Madrid youngsters and suggested Vinicius Junior has more work to do on his end product.

Real Madrid: "Rodrygo has more killer instinct than Vinicius"
Manu Reino / AFP7 / Europa Press Manu Reino / AFP7 / Europa Press

Former Barcelona forward and World Cup winner Rivaldo believes Real Madrid forward Rodrygo has more “killer instinct” than his teammate Vinicius Junior but believes the latter should remain at the Bernabéu and not seek a loan move despite being pushed aside in the first team picture by his compatriot’s form and the presence of Eden Hazard.

Vinicius was left out of the squad entirely for Real Madrid’s 5-0 win over Leganés on Wednesday with Zidane admitting that Hazard’s availability after injury has changed the first-team panorama for the 18-year-old. Rodrygo, meanwhile, keeps adding to his laurels and was on the score sheet against the Cucumber Growers, a few days after receiving his first senior Brazil call up at the expense of Vinicius, who was overlooked for the matches against Argentina and Uruguay by Tite.

“Rodrygo has the same individual qualities as Vinicius but the thing that marks the difference between them is when it comes to finishing; in that aspect Rodrygo is much stronger,” Rivaldo opined. The 18-year-old, who joined from Santos during the summer, has scored twice in three Liga appearances this season, no mean feat in a side who were until Wednesday at least struggling to find the back of the net. Vinicius on the other hand has managed three in a total of 24 league games since arriving in 2018 and regularly fails to cap promising moves with a shot on target.

Rivaldo on Rodrygo: "You have to play the better scorer"

When you have two players of the same quality but one scores more frequently than the other, you have to play the better goalscorer. At the end of the day that’s the bottom line in football,” Rivaldo continued. “Rodrygo has more killer instinct than Vinicius.”

Perhaps the most emblematic moment of the season for both Rodrygo and Vinicius came when the former replaced the latter against Osasuna for his senior debut. A minute and a half after coming on, Rodrygo was peeling away in delight after beating Rubén Martínez for the second-fastest Real Madrid debut goal since Ronaldo’s 62-second effort against Alavés in 2002.

However, Rivaldo feels that time is on Vinicius’ side: “All that he needs is for his skills to produce a good final result. He is training towards that end, which is important because it shows that he is aware of his weaknesses and that he is fighting to improve. At this time it’s possible that Real Madrid are thinking about a loan move until the end of the season but I think he should stay, continue to work and improve his game. Then the opportunities will come.”