Will anyone remember Vinicius Junior in a year?

Vinicius Junior
Maracana Stadium

“Football-today.com”: On Saturday, Vinicius Junior debuted for the first team of Flamengo. The 16-year-old became, perhaps, one of the most discussed figures in Brazilian football. Authoritative tabloids wrote about him, and literally in 17 days nearly 200 thousand people subscribed to his profile in Instagram.

Elusive Deal

We have already mentioned Vinicius Junior and his transfer on our blog. The deal between Real Madrid and Flamengo is shrouded in a veil. There was no official information on the amount of transfer. Marca broadcasts about 45 millions for transfer and additional 15 million bonus plus special conditions in the contract. Player will be listed exclusively in the first team. There is no Castilla and leases.

It’s all fun and sounds too perfect to be the truth but it is the truth nevertheless. We know what a strong competition exists in the youth. Young players travel to different corners of the planet in order to show themselves to the top leadership and return back to the Real. The team is rich and in fact can afford to buy any player for fabulous sum of money.

Vinicius Junior — The Story

In the story with Vinicius Junior, it’s unclear why everything went so public. In the “Flamengo” he has to play a full season at least. He has a lot to prove, why unnecessary pressure and attention?

On Saturday May 13th, an important event took place in Junior’s career. He made his professional debut. Everything before was of a semi-professional level. In the game against Atlético Mineiro Vinicius entered the field only for 8 minutes and he failed spectacularly. Eight minutes are too short. But, as the match progressed further Vinicius had a lot of opportunities to prove himself. As a result, the match ended with a score of 1 – 1 and Vinicius received the lowest rating according to WhoScored.

Impact of Debut

The unsuccessful debut still does not say anything. In practice Vinicius Junior is still a raw material with which it is necessary to work and work. Too much publicity, sudden fame, high wages – all this can lead to a star fever and can hamper young talent. For example, one of the Real Brazilians — Casemiro suffered from a star disease in his 16. He abruptly gained weight and was hanging out at parties.

The same example — we can remember Martin Odegaard. This guy received madly huge salary. It seems that it played a cruel joke with him, because he often rioted and expressed dissatisfaction. Now we don’t hear much about him nowadays.

Vinicius ripped everyone to shreds at the Under-17 South American Championship. He became the best scorer and MVP of the tournament. Let’s not forget that he helped the Brazilian national team to win the trophy too. The player showed a gorgeous game and a number of very valuable skills – field vision, speed, technique, and impact directly on the field.

Is the South American tournament so cool that it gives MVP like Vinicius Junior pass-card into the world of big football? In order to answer this question it is necessary to rummage in history. Indeed, the tournament has become a good foundation for the careers of players such as Coutinho, Casemiro (both 2009), Marquinosa (2011). But numerically more stars, MVP and young scorers do not fulfill their potential. The best scorer of 2013 is now 21 and his name is Franco Akota. The guy firmly settled in the deep reserve of Villarreal. MVP of 2009, Colombian Edwin Cardona shows good football in his native championship, but he never left for Europe. At least, he will play in the Colombian national team.


What’s the reason for all of this? The answer is simple. Youth football in many respects differs from the highest level. In order to climb to the top you need to switch gear at correct time. If this does not work, the engine burns out and you either stay in place or roll onto the abyss. One must be able to cope with all temptations, overcome fears and work on oneself.

Vinicius Junior is certainly a talented fellow and stands out strongly against the background of his peers. But like any youngster, he is still a raw material and life will mold him like clay. Practice shows that at this age it is extremely difficult to make any predictions for the future. So “Football-today.com” won’t make them. We just point out. If Vinicius does not progress, everyone will simply forget him in a year.


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