Real Madrid: Vinicius Junior has a crucial trait that will lead him to success

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid left winger Vinicius Junior has been through some ups and downs to start the season. Here’s another key reason why fans should believe in him.

When Real Madrid purchased Vinicius Junior from Flamengo a couple of years ago, they knew they were investing in a player who has a chance to become one of the world’s best. Arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu with that kind of pressure isn’t easy, but in his first taste of Champions League action in an otherwise dismal 2018-2019 season, Vinicius immediately showed the talent before suffering an injury.

And last season, Vinicius built on his success for Los Blancos. He was the star of the show in a 2-0 Clasico win at the Bernabeu, changed the game off the bench countless times – including in El Derbi, and even looked like he could push Eden Hazard for starts at one point.

He added more to his game at the start of the 2020-2021 season with three goals. Vini won the match against Real Valladolid, scored a brilliant curler at Levante, and gave Real Madrid hope of a comeback in a dire match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

But since then, Vinicius has cooled off. He had the winning assist against Inter Milan, but, by and large, his passing has been off and the confidence just isn’t there. Much has been made of Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy’s comments about Vinicius at half-time against Borussia Monchengladbach, but the key thread is that Vini was so off in that first half because he barely touched the ball and didn’t seem to command attention quite like he did in the previous two seasons. He wasn’t Vini.

Now here is where we come to the most important part. We can talk all day long about Vinicius’ work ethic. His skill. His explosiveness. His beautiful curled efforts when he has the time to pick out that far corner.

But what really sets Vinicius apart and what makes me believe in him as a great Real Madrid player in the future is his mentality. This is not a player who lets fame get to his head or thinks he has already accomplished something. Vinicius sounds like a player who aspires to be great, makes no excuses, and shows the utmost respect to his legendary teammates.

In an interview with ABC Deportes, as relayed by, Vinicius Junior spoke specifically about those half-time comments from Benzema:

"“That incident was noise. That noise is not for me. Among professionals we know very well what that is.“There are codes that you do not know. Karim and I are not only teammates of the same team, which is already a lot, but we are professionals and we know the environment in which we operate.”"

These comments come from the same young man who said that criticism is normal for a player at Real Madrid, given the weight of expectations at the club. There are players 10 years older than Vinicius who do not have this kind of maturity or reflection. They simply say that Madridistas are ungrateful or sour fans. Some members of the fanbase, as with any big club, are like that, yes. But for the most part, the fans of Real Madri are demanding because the club demands the best.

Vinicius intends on giving his best to Los Blancos. That’s why he has made such calm, reflective comments about both the pressure of playing for the club and about the specific remarks made by Benzema and Mendy to each other.

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Do not doubt a young player with talent and the capacity to both honestly self-reflect and show resiliency. Vinicius may have spells where he struggles to get involved or, on the other end of the spectrum, makes too many mistakes. But you have to stick with him. You have to believe. Because if you do, he will reward you greatly by fulfilling his limitless potential.