Real Madrid: 3 MOTM candidates against Villarreal

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

LW Vinicius Junior

Despite having three goals and an assist in all competitions this season, Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has been a target for criticism due to his recent performances. Vini hasn’t fully looked himself, as instead of taking control of games, he’s looked like a passenger and has barely touched the ball.

I think coming out of the international break and with so many questions about the squad, including to fellow forwards Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema, Vinicius will show why he’s a future star and leader for Real Madrid.

Like Toni Kroos and Thibaut Courtois, this game can be a defining one for Vinicius Junior, except he has even more pressure and more to prove than either of those two players. Whereas Kroos and Courtois are already revered by most football fans as two of the best players of the last handful of years, Vini is still trying to make a name for himself and meet the hype.

Vinicius is responsible for some of Real’s best moments in 2020. Who can forget his goal against Barcelona in El Clasico? Or how about his game-changing appearances off the bench against Atletico Madrid or Real Valladolid? What about that wonderful curled goal against a tough Levante side at the very stadium Real will travel to on Saturday?

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Just 20 years old, Vinicius is already one of La Liga’s best wide forwards. The standards at Real are incredibly high, and Vini admittedly does not always meet them. But he is a player who is at his best when he is confident and has something to show the world on a big stage. I could see him doing what he did in the Clasico earlier this year and take the game full-on, delivering a memorable performance where he just takes over. If Hazard cannot play, Real will need that greatly from Vinicius.