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Vinicius inspires Real Madrid in attack

The Brazilian was inspirational in attack for Real Madrid against Almería. A constant threat, he was decisive in turning the game around.

Antonio Villar
Vinicius, in his league match against Almería.
Fran SantiagoGetty

Vinicius was once again key for Real Madrid as they came from behind in Almería after Ramazani’s early goal stunned the visitors. The work and the power to believe until the last minute was rewarded. In the 83 minutes Vinicius played at the Power Horse Stadium, he was central to all of Madrid’s positivity in the final third, relentlessly driving at the Almería low block with his directness and creativity. He created two clear scoring chances and was involved in the equaliser in the 61st minute. He evaded challenges to sneak into the box and see his low shot saved, before Lucas Vázquez ended up taking advantage of the rebound. That was the start of a comeback that Alaba completed with a delightful direct free kick in the 75th minute.

The season has started just as the previous one ended: Madrid winning with Vinicius being decisive. Last season, he was key at the Stade de France, where he scored the winning goal in the Champions League. At the beginning of the UEFA Super Cup final, he received the award for Best Young Player of the 2021-22 Champions League. The 22-year-old carried the team at critical moments last term, such as in the first leg of the semifinals at the Etihad. With City very comfortable and threatening after Foden made it 3-1, he sprinted from midfield to beat Ederson at the near post. From Paris to Almería, passing through Helsinki, the Brazilian showed that there is still much more to come.

During the 2021-22 season, Vinicius put the problems he had in front of goal to one side. Thanks to his incredible season, his value is skyrocketing. Last summer he was valued at €40m by Transfermarkt and is now worth €100m, a rise of 150% in 12 months.

Road to the Ballon d'Or

Last season Vinicius got off to a flying start. On matchday three of LaLiga, he had become a starter thanks to his three goals from the bench, against Alavés and Levante, in the first two matchdays. When France Football shared its nominees for the Ballon d’Or, his name was not among the 30. The explosion came too late for the golden award in 2021, but in 2022 he not only debuted, but aspires to make his debut on the podium. Benzema seems to have his name written on the Ballon d’Or this year, and is set to take over from Messi, but in the photo he may appear alongside Courtois and Vini, who will compete with De Bruyne, Salah and Mané for silver and bronze.

This newspaper has already reported that there is an agreement and the official announcement is forthcoming on a new deal for Vinicius. His contract, which expires in 2024, will run until 2027, with a release clause of €1billion.

The jump in performance is evident and puts him on par with Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland among the best talents in the world. At 22 years old, Vinicius has played 172 games for Madrid, 10,723 minutes, scoring 37 goals and providing 44 assists. He has won seven titles (one every 24 games). In 2022-23, he is only striving for more.