The 18-year-old put pen to paper in a €45million deal at Madrid in May 2017, though he was allowed to stay at Brazilian club Flamengo for a year before linking up with his new club last summer.
This season, Vinicius has been a rare bright spot in what has largely been a dismal campaign for Madrid, as the young Brazilian has shown flashes of his talent and been one of the few players to show any consistency in their performances.
At 18 he’s been Madrid’s best player, though an injury suffered in the disastrous 4-1 loss to Ajax that sent them crashing out of the Champions League has sidelined him until May, and possibly the entire rest of the season.
It could all have been very different as Vinicius had the opportunity to follow the path taken by compatriot Neymar, who moved from Brazil to Barcelona in a big-money deal in 2013 and has since gone on to be one of world football’s biggest stars.
But Vinicius has revealed that speaking to Real Madrid’s Brazilian contingent helped him choose the capital club over their fierce rivals, though he allegedly would have earned more money at Barcelona.
At the time, Madrid were the reigning European champions and, just weeks after signing Vinicius, would become the first team in the Champions League era to successfully defend the trophy, before going on to win the competition an unprecedented third straight season last summer before Vinicius officially joined the club.
“My father never told me of interest until Barcelona and Real Madrid,” he told Cadena SER.
“Then we visited both clubs and liked them both.
“Barcelona wanted to pay more, but we wanted the best project and Marcelo and Casemiro spoke to me and helped me decide.”
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