REAL MADRID

Vinicius: I have a special bond with Benzema

Real Madrid youngster Vinicius has opened up about the special bonds he shares both with team mate Karim Benzema and the Bernabéu fans in his latest interview.

Vinicius: I have a special bond with Benzema
Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa

Vinicius has given an interview to Real Madrid TV in which the young Brazilian opened up about his move to Madrid, his family, his “infectious personality” and the special relationship he shares with Karim Benzema and Marcelo.

Since making the 45-million-euro switch to Madrid in the summer of 2018, the 19-year-old winger has been earning his stripes at the Bernabéu with the guidance of more senior members of the team, such as compatriot Marcelo and strike partner Benzema.

"Marcelo always gives me advice about what I should be doing, on and off the pitch. He's always joking around with me and life's always good when he's around,” he said.

“I feel as if I've got a special bond with Karim [Benzema] and I learn things from him. He talks to me before games and tells me what I have to do for the good of the team.”

He added: "Everything that I do out on the pitch now are things that I learned when playing futsal. When I was a child I always wanted to learn and progress. I made my debut for Flamengo at the age of 16 and it was really important to enjoy the moment.”

Vinicius says he has a "special bond" with Karim Benzema.

Vinicius on moving to Real Madrid

Soon after his debut, the Flamengo academy graduate found himself under the radar of Real Madrid. And he recalled how he was first made aware of the Spanish giant’s interest from the news.

From there things moved fast, with Madrid coming to an agreement with Flamengo in May 2017 to sign the then-17 year-old, who remained at the Brazilian club on loan for another season before making the move to the Spanish capital.

"I didn't think that Real Madrid's interest was true. The newspapers were talking about it but I didn't know a thing,” he admitted. 

“The offer came in from Real Madrid and I had two days to decide. My dad told me to let my heart decide. In Brazil there's nothing that's comparable to Madrid: the city, the Bernabéu, the players.”

Vinicius with Ronaldo during his Real Madrid unveiling in July, 2018.

Vinicius on his connection with Madrid fans

Since his unveiling alongside club legend Ronaldo Nazario in July 2018, which he said was “one of the happiest days of my life”, Vinicius has quickly become a crowd favourite at the Bernabéu – something he puts down to the potential and good-tempered nature that the fans recognize in him.

"It's really good to have that connection and bond with the fans. They know that I can go on to be one of the best players at Madrid, that I'm young and that I'm really happy,” said the Rio-born player, who envisions a long and happy future for himself at the club.

"I see the Vinicius Jr. of the future being at Real Madrid. I always have to thank God and my family. My family means everything to me and when they're happy, so am I. I think that I manage to pass on my infectious personality to everyone around me and that's why they love me so much".