What must be demonstrated for Real Madrid by Vinicius Junior ahead of the big season under the management of Carlo Ancelotti.
Given Benzema’s anticipated absences, the Brazilian star will likely need to be even more decisive than he was last year.
The final season of Vinicius Jr. was spectacular to watch. In his first three seasons at Real Madrid (he joined in the summer of 2018), you could see a player with pace who, when one-on-one with a defender, could be dazzling, but who struggled to make the right choice as he got closer to the goal.
This was different during the 2021/22 season, when it played a significant role in winning the two major championships (Champions League and La Liga), with the European Super Cup still to come. He was the primary offensive weapon for Carlo Ancelotti, along with striker Karim Benzema.
The 2022–2023 campaign, however, will be a little different. Benzema will require extra breathing room during the season because he will turn 35 in December and participate in the World Cup in Qatar. The 22-year-old will need to play a bigger part in the team at that point.
What does Vini have this year to give Los Blancos?
It is true that the Brazilian economy has grown significantly during the past year. Having contributed 22 goals and 16 assists throughout all competitions, this accounts for 27.5 percent of all of Madrid’s goals and 16.9 percent of all of its assists.
He only managed six goals in the season before that (2020–21), if you look back. His development has also resulted in a noticeable increase in minutes from one season to the next.
In the 2020–21 season, he only played 1917 minutes, but by the next year, this had climbed to nearly every game (82 percent of the available minutes). A truly amazing turnaround.
Some have stated that he is unlikely to develop on this level given that he is one of the most valued players in the world (estimated at approximately $100 million), but he has demonstrated that he is constantly striving to advance.
Real Madrid will need him to be at the top of his game in addition to his personal goals. After Kylian Mbappé’s absence and the heavy schedule that a seasoned player like Benzema (the front-runner for the Ballon d’Or this year) will have, Vinicius begins as a key component of their assault.
As if that weren’t enough, Ancelotti’s faith in him since his hiring has contributed to the player’s development and his growing perception of himself as a star.
With his efforts against teams like Barcelona, Manchester City, and Liverpool, Vinicius—who is ready to extend his contract—has demonstrated that he is capable of winning enormously significant games. That goal against the Reds in the Champions League final was the pinnacle of his outstanding year, enabling Madrid to hoist number 14.
He wants more, though.
Because of his level, he will be under more pressure this season than he has been in past seasons. The start of a potential confirmation season for Vinicius will come on Wednesday, August 10, when he plays against Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Super Cup.