Grading every young Real Madrid player from the 2021/22 season

Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /

LW Vinicius Jr.

By far and away the best young player in the Real Madrid squad last season, the fact that Vinicius Jr. was in first speaks volumes to how unstoppable he was. There were several games Real won only because of Vini, such as matches against Elche and Sevilla.

Probably the second best player in European football after Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr. deserves to finish on the Ballon d’Or podium. Before the Champions League Final, all Liverpool could do was talk about the Ballon d’Or cases of their forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, in a desperate attempt to discredit Karim Benzema. In the end, it was Vini who was the most decisive player in the match, providing a constant threat on counters before scoring what proved to be the winning goal.

Vinicius had 22 goals and 16 assists in his breakout season, averaging 0.80 goals and assists per 90 in all competitions. His emergence was the difference between Real Madrid just missing out on the league in 2020/21 to being the most dominant team in Spain and the best team in Europe one season later.

Real Madrid were missing that can’t-miss winger. They were missing that player with the magic in his boots who could score or assist from out of nowhere, draw out defenders, and cause chaos. Vini had the chaos down even before 2021/22, but his confidence in the final third prevented him from being that true threat. Now that he has his confidence and is showing off even more jaw-dropping skills, Vini has come close to fulfilling his potential as the next iconic footballer.

“Come close”. Yes, Vinicius Jr. can still reach another level, and that should make Madridistas even more excited to watch him in 2022/23.

Rating: 10