Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after 3-1 win over Athletic Club

Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

How will Vinicius Junior build on this strong performance?

For some reason, I saw criticism for Vinicius Junior after his performance on Matchday 14 vs. Athletic Club. This puzzled me greatly, because I thought Vinicius was one of Real Madrid’s stop performers on the pitch that night.

Coming into the game, Vini had struggled against Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Atletico Madrid despite his team’s success. He worked hard and was very involved at Sevilla, but he was sloppy technically. And then against Gladbach and Atleti, he seemed to be barely involved, which was really discouraging.

On Tuesday night vs. Athletic Bilbao, though, we saw the best of Vinicius. The 20-year-old was unlucky not to score and did so much to create chances for other players, even grabbing an assist. Vini led the team with four key passes, did his defensive duties, and was generally smart with when he chose to take defenders on or go for a simple pass. He was still exciting but also played things safe when needed.

I love that Zinedine Zidane stood by his young player instead of making a change at the left wing position after a couple of poor performances. Vinicius responded well against Athletic Club, and that’s another reminder of his strong mentality. He gives his all to the club and believes in himself, and when we ask questions of him, he comes up with the right answers.

This Sunday at Eibar, I believe Vinicius will score his third goal of the La Liga season.