Vinicius Jr – Real Madrid’s Next Big Superstar?

Vinicius Jr - Real Madrid's Next Big Superstar?

Struck by inconsistency and two massive departures, Los Blancos have been reduced to a shadow of their former ruthless selves. Yet, amid all the hopelessness and against all odds, an 18-year-old has emerged as their brightest and most vivid spark. 

Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo were two of the most prolific members of Real Madrid. So, after their successive departures, Los Blancos were forced to fall back upon the most experienced members of the squad. Gareth Bale, who was bound to become the ‘King of Madrid’ after Ronaldo’s departure, failed to live up to the billing, handing one lanky Brazilian teenager an opportunity he couldn’t even dream of.

The former Flamengo forward always dreamt of donning the royal white. So, when the opportunity finally presented itself in 2017, he couldn’t help himself from jumping the gun.

Also Read: Marcos Llorente – A career in danger

“Yes, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona among others,” he told Marca when asked if there had been inquiries from other clubs.

“They were always in touch with us. In the end, we waited for the right time and the right team.”

“I felt that I was making my boyhood dream come true, that I was going to a club that all the best players in the world want to be at. The best are there. I can’t explain the happiness I felt when I signed the contract with Real Madrid,” said the youngster.

During Madrid’s pre-season games, Vinicius Jr finally got the opportunity to stretch his legs. Julen Lopetegui certainly took notes but didn’t think he was ready for real, competitive football. Over the first 10 La Liga games, he could only manage to play 12 minutes of football, coming off the bench against Atletico Madrid and Alaves, respectively. Lopetugui’s ill-fated Bernabeu stint ended with the crushing 5-1 defeat at Barcelona, and with it, Vinicius’ frustrating spell on the sidelines.

Santiago Solari, straightaway, showed more faith in the player than Lopetegui ever did, and started him in the Copa del Rey clash against UD Melilla. The Brazilian rewarded his coach’s faith with a brace of assists, showing first signs of his quality on the ball. He once again impressed in the second leg, this time netting his first senior goal for Real Madrid.

His first La Liga start came earlier in January, in the 2-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad. Los Blancos were all over the place and produced one of their worst performances of the current campaign, but Vinicius, once again, stood out with his daunting runs and never-ending enthusiasm. In the first leg of the Copa del Rey last-16 clash against Leganes, the Brazilian dropped one of his best performances, pitching in with a goal and an assist as Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Over the last few weeks, Vinicius Junior has been one of the first names on Solari’s team sheet. It is as if he knows the value of every single minute as a Real Madrid player, knows just how quickly it could all fade away.

The teenager, in no way, is the most polished player in the star-studded Real Madrid squad. He also isn’t the most dependable. But the youngster, most definitely, seems like the most courageous. He still needs to work a lot on his touches, his movement, and most of all, his finishing. But the temperament he has shown, so far, has really been exemplary. Vinicius Junior may or may not be the solution to all of Real Madrid’s problems, but the Brazilian, at the very least, makes all Madridistas hope for the improbable; makes them believe that it’s never over until the fat lady sings.

Copa Libertadores final: 5 questions around a game relocated to Madrid

Copa Libertadores final: 5 questions around a game relocated to Madrid

The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium was chosen to host the Superclasico, a match of South America, the return leg of the Copa Libertadores between the two big rival clubs of Buenos Aires, River Plate, and Boca Juniors, will be played in Madrid on December 9, Sunday. 

However, this chapter was not closed easily. Boca Juniors refused to play the final leg of the Copa Libertadores in Madrid. The club announced that it would bring the case before the Appeals Chamber of the Conmebol, and possibly before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). River Plate also complained about the decision of the Conmebol, because the club of the upscale neighborhoods of northern Buenos Aires wanted to host the match in its stadium.

Also Read: Boca Juniors: A Little Of Sweden, But With A Lot Of Football

Image Credit: ESPN


Why this postponement?

On Saturday, November 24, two players from Boca Juniors were injured, while the bus carrying them was attacked with stones, bottles and tear gas a few kilometers from the Monumental stadium of River Plate, which was to host the final return. While the majority of the 60 000 spectators had taken place in the stadium, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Conmebol first delayed the match twice, before postponing it on Sunday. But one of the players injured, the captain of Boca, Pablo Perez, still unable to play Sunday, though the Copa Libertadores final was postponed.


Why Madrid?

The president of the Conmebol Alejandro Dominguez announced that “conditions were not met” for the final return is played in Argentina. In the final match on November 10, played in a fiery atmosphere at the Bombonera stadium of Boca Juniors, the duel ended in a draw (2-2). Many cities were mentioned or offered to host the 100% Argentinean final of the most prestigious club competition in South America, including Asuncion, Doha, Genoa, Belo Horizonte and Barcelona with Camp Nou. Madrid finally inherited Superclasico.

“We found in Spain the neutrality that the Conmebol was looking for,” said Dominguez. “Madrid has everything that is necessary to organize the match, it is the tenth safest city in the world, and its airport is the one that owns the most connectivity with Latin America.”


Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu stadium wallpapers | HD Wallpapers ...

Why at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium?

Madrid has two beautiful stadiums, the Wanda Metropolitano, and the Santiago Bernabeu. Comnebol’s president said the Bernabeu stadium was loaned free by his “friend” Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid.

“Florentino told me that the stadium was available and free. He told me he could make it available for zero euros, but Comnebol does not want to make money on it, the recipes will be used to create a fund to fight violence in football.”

The mood should be less tense with this change of continent.


Why such a rivalry?

We must go back to the creation of clubs, at the beginning of the 20th century and to a neighborhood. River Plate was founded following a merger between Santa Rosa and La Rosales in La Boca, a neighborhood near the center of the federal capital, on May 25, 1901. Boca Juniors was founded in 1905 in the popular part of La Boca district by a group of Italian immigrants from Genoa. Incidents are common during their meetings. The first shock of the professional era ended in a scandal in 1931. River decided to leave the field after the exclusion of three of its players for the protest following the equalization of Boca. In 2015, the last duel between the two teams in Copa Libertadores had to be interrupted at the break.

“Unfortunately, for me, this match has lost its aura in my heart,” said Santiago Solari, Real Madrid coach, in a press conference. “It’s sad to say, but it’s the reality, let’s hope that Bernabeu’s final will be able to repair what happened, repair no, rather give it a worthy end to such a match,” he added. “It’s a shame what happened, especially for the children, that a very small part of our society is doomed to break everything, nothing works, it’s a real shame,” insisted Solari.


Who is the favorite?

For the first time in history, the final of the Copa Libertadores, the South American Champions League, is played between River Plate and Boca Junior. With a rich number of stars (Tevez, Zarate, Pavon …), Boca Juniors aims his 7th Libertadores. Boca has not won since 2007, and equal the record of another Argentine club, Independiente, club located in the south of the capital whose supporters are proud of the status of “Rey de Copa”.

Under the direction of Gallardo, River raised the cup in 2015, the third in their history. The coach, who has installed a seductive game, relies notably on the Colombian and Pablo Quintero and the young international Ezequiel Palacios. In Argentina, the balance of power is reversed. River Plate has won 36 championships against 33 for its rival. But Boca has won the last two. Boca’s figure, Diego Maradona chose the Superclasico to put an end to his career in 1997.

“I played a Barcelona – Real Madrid, which is a very important match because it involves two huge cities, but Boca – River, It’s like sleeping with Julia Roberts!”


Real Madrid 0-0 Atletico Madrid | Goalkeepers thrive in Goalless draw

Real Madrid 0-0 Atletico Madrid | Goalkeepers thrive in Goalless draw.

The First Madrid Derby of the 2018/19 La Liga Season ended with an underwhelming result for both teams, a Goalless draw at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid will be especially disappointed after they suffered a 0-3 Loss at the hands of Sevilla in midweek incidentally, the result didn’t seem to shake up the points table at all as Title challengers Barcelona also drew against Atletic Bilbao. 

It was the Goalkeepers that had to step up to the occasion with Jan Oblak having to do a majority of the heavy lifting, making a total of six saves while his opposite number, Thibaut Courtois went on to save three shots on Goal. Though Courtois made lesser saves than Oblak, Julen Lopetegui’s Real Madrid had to rely on the Belgian’s excellent shot stopping skills to deny Antoine Griezmann in the 18th minute from a one-on-one situation. Courtois went on to deny former-Chelsea Teammate Diego Costa from a similar Situation when the Spaniard was played in with a defence-splitting pass from Griezmann eight minutes from the break, only to be denied by the Real keeper.

The home side’s best chance came when Toni Kroos’ slick through ball found Marco Asensio in the 65th minute only to be denied by Jan Oblak. Madrid had a few more half-hearted attempts on target that led to Real fans chanting Cristiano Ronaldo’s name. With the recent results not going the Los Blancos’ favour, the fans and the management must be wondering whether Selling Ronaldo was the right thing to do or not. 

One to watch out for- Rodrigo

Rodrigo was brilliant for Atletico in the middle of the park and the 22-year-old holding Midfielder proved why he was one of the most sought-after players in this Year’s transfer market. The Spaniard dictated play from Midfield with such poise and composure, absolutely sensational from the Youngster. Rodri only cost Atleti 25 Million Euros in the Summer, an Absolute steal!

Real Madrid VS Atletico Madrid, Match Prediction | La Liga

Real Madrid VS Atletico Madrid, Match Prediction | La Liga

Real Madrid host bitter rivals Atletico in tonight’s high stakes La Liga encounter where the two Madrid teams will go head-to-head at the Santiago Bernabeu. Atletico Madrid have been in fine touch, the Los Rojiblancos comfortably beat minnows Huesca 3-0 and Diego Simeone could even give star men, Diego Costa, and Antoine Griezmann some well-deserved rest for Majority of the second Half. Real, on the other hand, are just coming off of a demoralizing 3-0 loss against Sevilla and Julen Lopetegui would be hoping to bounce back against Atletico in this Season’s first Madrid Derby.

Team News

Real Madrid – Left-Back Marcelo is ruled out of the Derby with a Calf Injury sustained against Sevilla and Alvaro Odriozola is expected to fill in at Right-back while Nacho is expected to take up duties at Left-back in the Brazilian’s absence. Isco is also out after undergoing surgery for Appendicitis on Tuesday and will be missing his second game for the Los Blancos. 

Predicted XI: Courtois, Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Odriozola, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Asensio, Benzema, Bale

Atletico Madrid – Stefan Savic (Concussion) and New Signing Santiago Arias (Rib) remain injured. Jose Maria Gimenez has recovered from a knock and is likely to start with Diego Godin in defence. Lucas Hernandez has been given the nod to play at Left-Back while new CDM Signing Rodri is expected to start at the middle of the park as well.

Predicted XI: Oblak, Hernandez, Godin, Gimenez, Juanfran, Rodri, Saul, Koke, Correa, Costa, Griezmann

Key Players

Real Madrid – Gareth Bale

Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the onus has been on Gareth Bale to step up and the Madrid fans will demand nothing less than a win from the Welshman.

Atletico Madrid – Antoine Griezmann

Griezmann loves playing at the Bernabeu and the Frenchman will be looking to continue his good form against Rivals Real.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2 – 2 Atletico Madrid

Real are definitely more vulnerable now than ever but the Los Blancos still seem to have enough firepower to stop an in-form Atleti team.