Which Real Madrid record can Vinicius break this season?
No Real Madrid player has managed a 20-20 season since Opta records began in 2005-06, with Cristiano Ronaldo coming closest in 2014-15.
Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior took home the match ball after Carlo Ancelotti’s side thrashed Levante 6-0 at the Bernabéu, the Brazilian’s hat-trick taking his tally of goal for the season to 21 in 50 appearances. This has very much been a breakthrough campaign for the 21-year-old under the guidance of Ancelotti. During the previous three seasons combined, Vinicius had only managed 15 goals in total with his most prolific season being 2020-21, when he bagged six. However, a passage of play in the 16th minute was perhaps even more indicative of the Brazilian’s progress, when he cut inside, took a look, and planted a precise pass on the head of Karim Benzema for yet another scoring link-up between the most collaborative attacking partnership in Europe this season. It also put Vinicius within touching distance of something not even Cristiano Ronaldo achieved at Real Madrid: a 20-20 season.
Benzema and Vinicius strike up special understanding
The assist for Benzema was the Brazilian’s 16th of the season. However, Vinicius has only two games left to dig out another four assists if he is to reach the mythical mark. Left out of the squad for the trip to Cádiz as Ancelotti rotates ahead of the Champions League final, Madrid have only that fixture against Liverpool and the final league game of the season against Betis remaining. In previous games coming off the bench, Vinicius didn’t need long to add to his assists tally. Against Osasuna he was introduced on 89 minutes and teed up Lucas Vázquez for Madrid’s third in a 3-1 win, and against Espanyol he came on with 15 minutes to play and provided Benzema with another.
Ronaldo has come closest to a 20-20 season for Madrid, which has not been achieved since Opta started recording such data in the 2005-06 season. In 2014-15, the Portuguese chalked up 61 goals in total, 48 of them in LaLiga, and provided 19 assists for his teammates. His previous best in the assist stakes came in 2010-11, when like Vinicius he teed up 16 for his colleagues.
Mesut Özil the Madrid assist king
The last time a Madrid player broke the 20-assist barrier was in 2014-15, when Ángel di María managed 22. Mesut Özil was a master of the telling pass, providing 25 assists in 2010-11 and 24 the following season. However, neither player came close to a 20-20. Di María netted 11 times in what was his last season at the Bernabéu while Özil’s incredible assist stats were accompanied by goals totals of 10 and seven respectively in those two campaigns.