A message sent to his agent Lucas Mineiro on April 21, 2017: “Real Madrid, dad. We’re going to the biggest club in the world.”
The story of Vinicius is that of a boy who dreamed of playing for Real Madrid and almost ended up playing for Barcelona. When he was closest to the azulgrana club, Casa Blanca appeared to steal him from his eternal rival, who saw the promising Brazilian choose the Santiago Bernabeu over Camp Nou.
We have to go back to Friday, April 21, 2017 to find the key moment. Until then, the Clasico had been played for Vinicius, with Barcelona taking the lead and both sides telling Flamengo of their intention to pay the € 45m release clause. The parents of Carioca visited the Culés facilities, convinced. However, Real Madrid, led by Juni Calafat, broke into the bidding for the forward.
Vinicius had three days to make up his mind and, although the pressure for a boy his age, still underage, was enormous, he listened to his heart. It sounds like a prefabricated phrase, but the truth is he picked Real Madrid even though FC Barcelona paid him a bit more. And so he sent, via WhatsApp, to one of his representatives, Lucas Mineiro: “Real, dad. Let’s go to the biggest club in the world.”
Four years after that post, Vinicius made 106 appearances for Real Madrid, becoming the earliest foreign player in club history to reach the 100-appearing mark. He totaled 14 goals and 22 assists, including a double this week in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Liverpool.
During this period, he was called up twice by the Brazilian A team, with which he made his debut on September 11, 2019 against Peru. With this progression, a contract until 2024 and a house under construction in the capital, where he feels very good, his goal is to stay in Spain for a long time.
This Saturday, Vinicius receives at Di Stéfano a Barcelona who wanted him and now fears him. In their five previous encounters, he stood out for his verticality and power, even leaving Pique on the ground, and scored a goal. He scored 1-0 in the last match at the Bernabeu, just before the pandemic, which saw his side win La Liga.