Interviews

Vinicius Jr reveals the Real Madrid player who has helped him most so far – and they’re not Brazilian

The Brazilian winger reveals which of his Madrid teammates has been the biggest influence on his career. 

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Vinicius is the new hero at the Santiago Bernabeu, having scored the opening goal during Real Madrid’s vital El Clásico win over Barcelona in March. 

The goal was the latest chapter in the Brazilian winger’s developing story at Real - Vinicius is now one of the club’s key attacking players at just 19 years of age. 

In the April issue of FourFourTwo, out now, the teenager revealed which Madrid teammate has helped him the most during his early careers at the Bernabeu.

IN THE MAG

“Karim Benzema, without a shadow of a doubt,” admitted Vinicius. “He has helped me since day one, advising me on how to make the best decisions, and whenever we play together he tells me to remain calm and focused. 

“There was a match against Atletico Madrid when I lost possession and we conceded a goal. He spoke to me about switching positions for a few minutes, so that I would receive possession less and regain my confidence to get back into the game.

“We did that and it worked perfectly. He’s experienced – he’s been at Real Madrid for more than a decade now – so it’s a privilege to learn from him.”

Many youngsters would be starstruck moving to Real Madrid during their teenage years - but not Vinicius. Yet despite being able to keep up with the pace with his talented teammates, the winger finds himself in awe of the quality at the La Liga giants. 

He added: “It’s actually difficult to describe the quality we have at Madrid, and the players’ mindset is totally different, too. 

“There’s such a winning mentality that every single one of us wants to win every single thing, to boost the competitiveness of activities. If you slow down a little bit in training, the gap to everyone else will increase.”

When asked by FFT who is the most talented at the club, Vinicius revealed: “Marcelo is so skilful with phenomenal ball control, and Karim thinks 10 seconds ahead of everyone else.

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 Erling Haaland, 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.

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