Thibaut Courtois compares Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior to a young Eden Hazard

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Vinicius Junior is given a standing ovation from the Real supporters

Vinicius Junior has emerged as one of the breakout stars in European football this season with the Real Madrid forward shining for Santiago Solari.

The Brazilian has enjoyed a fine week on the pitch with a scintillating display against Girona in the Copa del Rey being followed up by a starring role in Los Blancos’ 3-0 La Liga victory over Alaves on Sunday.

He scored one and played a crucial role in another as the 18-year-old further enhanced his legitimacy as Real’s chief attacking threat.

Naturally, there are areas of his game which require refinement, yet Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been suitably impressed, even comparing his club team-mate to that of his Belgium compatriot Eden Hazard when he first burst onto the scene.

“The closest I’ve seen was Hazard when I was playing in Belgium. It was hard for him at first but he is young and wants to learn,” Courtois told the club’s official website.

“He needs confidence, that is what we’re giving him and we’re all really happy with his progress.”

Thibaut Courtois in Belgium training with Eden Hazard

Thibaut Courtois in Belgium training with Eden Hazard

Vinicius recent form has mirrored that of Solari’s side as they secured their fifth straight win on Sunday. The resurgence has come at the perfect time with Real entering a crucial phase of the campaign.

They face Barcelona three times over the next month, the first of which is contested at Camp Nou on Wednesday in the opening leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final clash.

Atletico Madrid are next up in the league on Saturday with a trip to Ajax in the Champions League quickly on its heels.

But Courtois has implored his team to continue the momentum with potentially three trophies still on offer this season.

“These are going to be a few tough, exciting days. We’re going to give it all in the Copa del Rey because we want to get to the final,” he added.

“In La Liga we head to the Wanda Metropolitano. If we can win there we will go ahead of Atletico

“We are in good form and must take advantage, we have some tough games and need to win. We need to rest up and keep playing as we are.

“There are some thrilling ties ahead and we want to be in with a chance of winning something at the end of the season. That’s why we need to win what we can this month.”

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