Baptista: Vinicius Junior deserves Clasico chance
Former Real Madrid forward Julio Baptista believes teenage sensation Vinicius Junior deserves his chance against Barcelona in El Clasico.
Vinicius has made two LaLiga appearances but the 18-year-old is yet to start for Madrid since completing his €45million transfer from Flamengo in the off-season.
The Brazilian teenager was set to be unavailable for Sunday's Clasico at Camp Nou after being sent off in Castilla's Segunda B match against Celta Vigo B but Madrid successfully appealed the ban.
Baptista – who won LaLiga during his spell at the Santiago Bernabeu – feels the time is right for Vinicius to experience the Clasico atmosphere.
"Yes, he deserves it," Baptista told Marca. "The only thing is he's a very young player to be one of the team's reference points.
"He's such a great player and could do well in this game [Clasico], but you have to look after him so he can develop calmly and isn't affected by bad games.
"The pressure in Madrid is very high and it isn't easy to cope with."
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) October 27, 2018
Baptista, 38, added: "He is daring, he always tries to make things happen. You have to give him some minutes so he can gain confidence and play better each time."
Madrid are eighth and four points adrift of champions Barca, who are second, heading into the blockbuster fixture.