Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr. is on top of the world now. It has been a long road to get here, from being told by superstar teammate Karim Benzema that he was playing against the team to later missing a chance in the same Champions League season that left captain Sergio Ramos on the floor. But now, Vini is the man who has sent Real their 14th Champions League title with the winning goal, capping off an incredible breakout season.
Nobody should be worried about Vini Jr. getting a big head, but we have seen this happen to young players in the limelight before.
As we saw with Benzema, there are no better people to keep the young stars of Real Madrid grounded than the old guard who have won four or five Champions League titles themselves.
Casemiro is a leader for Vinicius Jr. with the Brazil national team and Real Madrid, and he is playing a role in keeping Vini’s feet on the ground. He said that Vini is not one of the top three players in the world…yet…
Casemiro says Salah and Mane are better than Vinicius Jr.
"“In my opinion, not yet. He had a great season, but there are other players who are ahead. Benzema, Salah, Mané… He is an exceptional player, the good thing is that he is 21 years old, he will grow a lot.”"
I am going to be honest and say that I would personally put Vini over Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for this season. The body of work of those players, though, means that Vini does have to prove he can do it for more than one year, though, of course, Madridistas have supreme confidence about that.
So it would be valid to put Vini on the top list of players in the world. Casemiro is right not to do that, though, because he is keeping Vini motivated and hungry. Vinicius Jr. may not need that, given his passion and drive to be the best that got him here in the first place, but it is important for Case to set that tone as a leader in Vini’s life.
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That’s most important than giving praise in public to the media. Casemiro is thinking about what is best for Vini as a mentor and teammate, and that is something Real Madrid fans have to respect about this wonderful player, too.