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Vinicius Jr returns to Colombia after a 5 year absence

The Real Madrid winger has played just once in Colombia, back when he was a youngster for Flamengo.

Vinicius Junior en Bogotá ante Independiente Santa Fe
Colprensa Diego Pineda

The Estadio Metropolitano in the Colombian city of Barranquilla is ready to welcome Vinicius Jr who, as the on-field leader of Brazil, will be looking for a win against his upcoming opponents (November 16 with kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT.). The Real Madrid star returns to Colombia after five years, with the last time being in the Copa Libertadores; now it will be in World Cup qualification.

The 23-year-old will step out onto the ‘Metro’ pitch for the first time in his career, where his pace, dribbling and unpredictability will be his keys to making the most out of the game. Vini arrives at the tie in a great vein of form and looks set to once again have a huge impact in a yellow shirt having now made his name in Europe as one of the most dangerous wingers in football.

When was the last time Vini Jr played in Colombia?

The only visit to Colombia that Vinicius has made as a player was back on 25 April 2018. It was during the Copa Libertadores group stage, in a match between Santa Fe and Flamengo, Vini’s old side. The Brazilian side played in El Campín and the winger showed his talent on the night, starting the game that ended 0-0.

Despite the game not being an instant DVD release, one of the players who stood out was indeed Vinicius. He played 83 minutes and terrorised the opposition defence until he was replaced by Marlos Moreno.

Vinicius en Colombia
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Vinicius last played in Colombia in 2018.Colprensa

Vini Jr steps up as Brazil’s leader

Vini Jr is the fourth most expensive player in the world in terms of value (€150 million) and is the undisputed leader in his national team. For the game, Fernando Diniz trusts Vinícius’ momentum can hurt the Colombian national team; the threat he poses on the wings or in the middle will be key for Brazil as they look to break down the defence.

The Real Madrid winger is also the second fastest player in the world: the Brazilian star can reach a whopping 38.5 kilometres per hour, beaten only by Kylian Mbappé who can reach 39.2 kilometres per hour. The work rate of Colombia’s defence will be fundamental as when the space, he will be there.

How will Vinícius play at the Metropolitano?

Fernando Diniz, the Brazil manager who comes off the back of winning the Copa Libertadores with Fluminense, explained the way he wants to play the pair Real Madrid wingers he has. The Brazilian coach assured that Vinicius and Rodrygo would play on the inside, while Martinelli and Raphinha will play on the outside.

“It’s a way to enjoy their form at Real Madrid. They have already played more centrally. Rodrygo has the characteristic of fitting perfectly with what I think about football. Not many of the things that he has been doing in other games will change. With Martinelli coming in, there may be changes on the wings. They tend to have more movement and positional changes...”, Diniz said.