Real Madrid: Another reason to root for Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

There will always be ups-and-downs with a young player, and it’s often easy to forget that at 20 years old, Real Madrid left winger Vinicius Junior is as young as many of the Castilla call-ups Madridistas do give patience to. Vini, despite being a third-year player for Los Blancos, deserves that same patience.

Although there is more than just one reason why Vinicius deserves praise and optimism from Madridistas, there is an aspect of Vini’s character that stands out above anything he does on the pitch. The young man is resilient, adaptive, and accountable. I have praised his mentality before, and all he has done since then is prove why he will succeed.

It takes a special type of player and person to succeed with Real Madrid. A player must have a great degree of individual quality, but they must also have a personality that is conducive to success and responding to pressure. Thibaut Courtois and many others have passed this test at the White House, and Vini is doing the same in 2020-2021.

Recently, Vini has stepped up his performances with Eden Hazard injured. He was a magnet for deserved criticism after a horrible showing in the Copa del Rey loss to Alcoyano. Since then, Vinicius has been quite good, including in three consecutive wins over Huesca, Getafe, and Valencia. He had an assist against Getafe.

Vinicius Junior went out of his way to apologize to Real Madrid manager and club legend Zinedine Zidane

In these games, Vini has shown great chemistry with Karim Benzema, specifically against Valencia. Note that when Benzema left the pitch at the end of the match, Vini was the first person to give him a kind farewell. He could easily hold a grudge against Karim for certain comments made at half-time against Borussia Monchengladbach. But it is water under a bridge now. Not only did Benzema apologize, but Vinicius was the one who forgave and understood that these frustrations happen. For his part, he has stepped up his own performances.

This isn’t the first time Vinicius has responded well to a club legend being upset with him. Zinedine Zidane, according to an article from Tomas Roncero of AS, was not happy with Vinicius Junior after he caught the player using his cellphone before the match against Manchester City. And thus, Vini did not play as a substitute in that second leg loss at the Etihad Stadium.

So what did Vinicius do? He could have sulked. He could have moaned about his manager treating him unfairly. There are several players who have taken this kind of a route at Real Madrid, and let’s just say, they did not make it.

Vinicius called Zidane, per Roncero. He went out of his way to patch things up with the manager and prove his commitment. Vinicius did not want that to be Zidane’s lasting impression of him and wanted to clear the air, even though it was a minor mistake.

Zidane reportedly praised Vinicius for his courage and for his humility.

This story should give you another glimpse into the high degree of character Vinicius Junior possesses. The 20-year-old has a resilience and willingness to take accountability that even players around 10 years his senior – and without naming names, I think there are a couple of people who are springing to mind in your heads as you read this – do not.

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If you needed more reasons to stand by Vinicius through the growing pains, then this is one more. Vinicius learns from his mistakes and wants to put in the work to be a great player for Real Madrid. He, like young teammate Rodrygo Goes (who calls Luka Modric his “father” out of respect), has the utmost respect for the club and its legends. And he shows it with his actions.