Real Madrid rising star Vinicius Junior has revealed the pressures that come with being regarded as the next biggest talent in Brazilian football.
Los Blancos beat a number of the world’s top clubs to sign Vinicius for a record €45 million (Dh192.7m) fee, despite the Brazil U-17 star having never played a senior match with his club Flamengo.
Regarded as the eventual heir to Neymar with Selecao, the Rio de Janeiro native will officially join up with the Bernabeu side when he turns 18 next month.
Speaking to Marca, Vinicius brushed off suggestions that the pressure of being the most expensive player under the age of 18 could become overwhelming.
“I know what my potential is. I know how far I can go. I only have to work a lot, carry on as I have until now with Flamengo. I’m sure God will honour me,” he said.
“People who come through Flamengo’s youth system are used to pressure. Playing in the youth team for the national team helps a lot. I’ve spent some time evolving and learning how to handle the pressure and the responsibility.
“I know that Real Madrid is a different club, one of the biggest in the world. I’m going to leave the biggest club in Brazil for the biggest club in Spain.”
Vinicius will also be joined in the Spanish capital by compatriot Rodrygo, after the club confirmed a €45m (Dh190m) deal for the 17-year-old forward last week.
Rodrygo, who is to complete his move to Spain in 2019, made his debut for Santos at the age of 16 last November and has scored five goals in nine league appearances in the Brazilian top flight.
“It’s a phenomenon that God chose him too. Being able to play with him is an honour. He’s always followed me, he always wanted me to be a success. I think he’s a bit of a fan of mine,” he said.
“I want things to go well for him because he’s a player with my characteristics and it will be a pleasure to play for Real Madrid next to him.
“I dream about making history at Real Madrid and with Brazil with him.”
Spanish giants Real Madrid have completed the signing of Brazilian youngster Rodrygo Goes.
Rodrygo’s club Santos confirmed the deal on Friday on social media, although the player won’t join the Champions League winners in the 2018-19 season.
While Santos haven’t released the details regarding the fee, it is reported to be the largest sum ever received by a Latin American club.
The Brazil star has scored nine goals for Santos and is the first signing in the Julen Lopetegui era for Los Blancos.
O Santos Futebol Clube e o Real Madrid C.F. chegaram a um acordo para a transferência futura do atleta @RodrygoGoes. A ida do atleta ao clube espanhol está programada para julho de 2019.
— Santos Futebol Clube (@SantosFC) June 15, 2018
Julen Lopetegui’s controversial sacking from the Spain head coach’s post was still on the 51-year-old’s mind as he was unveiled at Real Madrid.
“Yesterday was the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother,” Lopetegui said on Thursday, fighting back tears.
“But today is the happiest day of my life. ”
Given that Madrid announced Lopetegui as their new manager just two days before the World Cup, and Spanish football federation president (RFEF) Luis Rubiales was reportedly informed only five minutes before their was an official announcement, there has been plenty of recrimination from Rubiales, the RFEF, and Spanish fans.
However, Lopetegui and Madrid both hit back on Thursday during the manager’s unveiling.
“We are convinced that we acted in an absolutely honest and clear way,” Lopetegui said, while Madrid president Florentino Perez added the reaction was “disproportionate, unfair and without precedent in the world of football in similar cases.”
He also accused Rubiales of having “an absurd reaction of misplaced pride”, in deciding to sack Lopetegui from the Spain post.
There were concerns that, having been announced as Madrid manager, Lopetegui may have a conflict of interest when managing the Barcelona players in the Spain squad, given the bitter rivalry between the two clubs.
However, Spain’s players were against Lopetegui’s firing.
Real Madrid legend Fernando Heirro was named as the successor to Lopetegui, who has now signed on to be Madrid manager for the next three seasons.