Interviews

Vinicius Jr explains why he chose Real Madrid over Barcelona in 2017

Vinicius Jr Real MAdrid

The Brazilian winger tells FourFourTwo how he joined the ‘greatest club’ in Real over their El Clasico rivals.

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After scoring the opening goal for Real Madrid in March’s title race six-pointer against Barcelona earlier this month, Vinicius Junior discussed the difficult decision in choosing between the two El Clasico clubs back in 2017. 

The Brazilian revealed that he and his family visited both clubs ahead of his decision, but opted to move to the Santiago Bernabeu in a €46 million move. 

Speaking in the April issue of FourFourTwo, out now, Vinicius said: “It was right after I came back from the 2017 South American U17 Championship in Chile. There were already rumours in the press, but I never believed them.

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“Eventually it happened: both Real Madrid and Barcelona put offers on the table and I had only three days to make my decision. I always wanted to play for the greatest club, so that’s why I chose Real.”

The reason for his move to Madrid lay solely in the sporting project that Los Blancos offered at the time, which included giving the winger plenty of game time from his first season at the club. 

Vinicius was also dazzled by the great deal of success Real have had in recent years, which included four Champions League triumphs in five seasons between 2014 and 2018, while Madrid also received the blessing of the player’s parents. 

He added: “My parents visited both clubs and liked them more. It matched with what I already wanted, and I felt their project was better for me.

“They give a lot of minutes to the younger players, like me, and were going through an outstanding period of success in the Champions League back then.” 

However, moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world as a high-priced teenager was always going to have its difficulties and Vinicius admits that his €46 million price tag affected him at the beginning of his career in the Spanish capital. 

“It was one of the toughest parts, more so than playing consistently. I had to make everyone forget about the price tag. 

“Fortunately, I played a lot of games in my first season. Now I have surpassed 50 matches for Real Madrid – few players achieve that at such a young age.”

Read the full interview with Vinicius Jr in the April 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally from Thursday March 5. Our new magazine reveals the stars of the decade – the 50 wonderkids who'll rule the next 10 years, with an exclusive interview with Marcus Rashford, Gabriel Martinelli, Ruben Neves, and Reece and Lauren James – as well as profiles of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kylian Mbappe. We also chat to Steve Clarke and Mick McCarthy and Scotland and Ireland in the Euro 2020 playoffs, revisit the last time Liverpool won the league, and chat to Nobby Solano, Yakubu and Wes Brown about their careers.